Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Sunday described Republican lawmakers who have parroted Kremlin talking points about Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine as “lonely voices” within the GOP.
During an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” McConnell urged more funding from the U.S. to support Ukraine as well as a “change of attitude” to help Ukraine “win.”
McConnell was then pressed about his clear support of Ukraine, which contrasts sentiments from the far-right faction of the GOP.
McConnell argued that the GOP lawmakers who push pro-Putin sentiments are merely “lonely voices” in the party.
“Well, there’s some lonely voices out there that are in a different place, but looking at Senate Republicans, I can tell you that I would have had I been the Majority Leader put this Ukraine supplemental up by itself,” McConnell said. “I think virtually every one of my members would have voted for it.”
McConnell insisted that the vast majority of the GOP, both in Congress and nationwide, are “totally behind” Ukrainians as Russia continues to wage its unprovoked war on the country.
“There may be a few lonely voices off the side,” McConnell said. “I wouldn’t pay much attention to them.”
Earlier this month, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug” — echoing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spin on the Ukrainian government, which he recently described as a “band of drug addicts and neo-Nazis who have holed up in Kyiv and taken the entire Ukrainian people hostage.” Additionally, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) last week pushed the Kremlin talking point of railing against President Biden’s authorization of $800 million in military assistance to Ukraine, decrying it as an escalation in the U.S.’s involvement in Ukraine.
McConnell’s remarks come days after Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) took aim at Greene for arguing that the U.S. shouldn’t assist Ukraine as it fights an onslaught of attacks from Russia. Greene claimed that it’s a waste for the U.S. to provide resources to the besieged country because, in her words, Ukraine “cannot possibly win” the fight. Greene argued that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is merely the result of “an eight-year long smoldering conflict, in which peace agreements have been routinely violated by both sides.”
Greene isn’t the only American right-winger to push Kremlin-friendly rhetoric recently. Last week, Mother Jones reported on a memo showing the Kremlin encouraging Russian state media to air clips of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson’s various pro-Putin rants in recent weeks in what appears to be part of right-wing efforts to project a false notion of widespread Western support for Russia’s propaganda. Russian media seems to have followed through on the memo’s request by airing clips of Carlson’s pro-Kremlin commentary as well as footage of Cawthorn calling Zelensky a “thug.”