Prominent Republicans are digging in against American support for Ukraine despite Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons and evidence of mass graves and war crimes facilitated by Moscow.
The Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday tweeted — and then hours later deleted — a message that called on Democrats to “end the gift-giving to Ukraine” while featuring a fluttering Russian flag. The tweet also referred to “Ukraine-occupied territories,” appearing to legitimize Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims to annex provinces based on a referendum that the U.S. and allies view as illegal.
CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp on Saturday said the tweet did not clear the normal approval process because he was traveling for a conference in Australia. “Due to my travel into a distant time zone it was never approved per usual,” he said in a text message.
In a statement, CPAC expressed support for Ukraine but maintained opposition to American aid for the embattled country.
“We must oppose Putin, but American taxpayers should not be shouldering the vast majority of the cost,” the statement said. “The tweet belittled the plight of the innocent Ukrainian people.”
CPAC has repeatedly flirted with pro-Putin views in recent years, including hosting pro-Russian Hungarian prime minister Victor Orban at a Dallas conference in August. [Continue reading…]