Kasich says Putin has helped ‘unify the West’

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said on Sunday that opposition to the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin has helped bring Western nations together.

"Putin inadvertently has done more to unify the West than the West has done to unify itself,” Kasich said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Kasich noted that President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE — who had praised Putin in the past and called to congratulate him for his election victory, which many saw as riddled with tampering — has become tougher on Russia in recent weeks.

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The governor said that Trump has taken a harder stance on Putin since the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Britain last month and the West has come together to oppose Russia.

Experts agree that Russia was behind the poison attack, a claim the Kremlin has denied.

“There have been sanctions, there probably could be more sanctions, but the fact is that the French, the Germans, the Brits, the Americans, we’re all now beginning to say that Putin is a thug and that we need to be able to push back on him,” Kasich said.

After the poison attack, the U.S. and a number of western nations implemented sanctions and expelled Russian diplomats from their countries, leading Russia to do the same.

Kasich, who mounted an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2016, has not ruled out a White House run in 2020.