Republicans continue to claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent invasion of Ukraine never would've occurred under former President Donald Trump, and they continue to slam the Biden administration's response to the historic escalation.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called out Biden's supposed weakness in a recent interview with far-right Fox News host Sean Hannity. The comments came weeks after Graham claimed Trump would've "kicked [Russia's] ass" and after Graham called on Kremlin insiders to assassinate Putin.
Watch a portion of Graham's Hannity interview below.
Hannity discussed the Biden administration's current refrain from authorizing the transfer of MiG-29 fighter jets from Poland to Ukraine. Poland has volunteered to hand over the 28 jets, which are three decades old, but Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement that there is no "substantive rationale," emphasizing that the prospect of fighter jets "departing from a U.S./NATO base in Germany to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance."
The Biden administration has since authorized $800 million in new military aid to Ukraine, including "2,000 Javelin, 1,000 light anti-armor weapons, and 6,000 AT-4 anti-armor systems."
Graham reached a different conclusion than Kirby regarding the Biden administration's hesitation to facilitate the transfer of the jets:
"Because Putin owns Biden. Biden is afraid of escalation. He's afraid of making Putin mad."
It's an interesting claim to hear from one of former President Trump's most loyal defenders in the Senate. The former President infamously sided with Putin over U.S. intelligence officials, believing Putin when he claimed Russia didn't attempt to interfere in the 2016 election to benefit Trump (they did). This praise would continue for years. Just ahead of Putin's recent invasion of Ukraine, the fledgling democratic nation that broke from the U.S.S.R. in 1991, Trump praised Putin's strategy as "smart" and even "genius."
Back in 2017, Graham himself said the Trump administration had "a blind spot on Russia I still can't figure out."
Graham may have forgotten this, but social media users were quick to remind him.
Some noted Graham's flip-flopping on both Biden and Trump.
In addition to facilitating increased aid to Ukraine, the Biden administration has also issued a number of harsh sanctions contributing to the devastation of Putin's economy.