DeSantis says Ukraine comments were 'mischaracterized,' calls Putin a war criminal and Russia 'a gas station with a nuclear weapons'

DeSantis previously called the war in Ukraine a “territorial dispute.” 

In a new interview, Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis called Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” and demanded the Russian president be “held accountable” for his invasion of Ukraine.

The comments were a pivot from a statement the potential 2024 presidential candidate previously made which seemed to minimize the year-long war as a “territorial dispute.”

DeSantis made the comments on “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” which airs on Fox Nation Thursday and added that Russia was wrong to invade Ukraine as well as take over Crimea in 2014.

The Florida governor called the Russian dictator a loser who is “basically a gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons.”

DeSantis had originally said in a statement to Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, that it is not in America’s “vital national interests” to become “further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia.” The comments were criticized by many members of the GOP including Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Marco Rubio.

DeSantis told Morgan his comments had been “mischaracterized.”

“Obviously, Russia invaded, that was wrong. They invaded Crimea and took that in 2014, that was wrong.”

“What I’m referring to is where the fighting is going on now which is that eastern border region Donbas, and then Crimea, and you have a situation where Russia has had that. I don’t think legitimately but they had.

"There’s a lot of ethnic Russians there. So, that’s some difficult fighting and that’s what I was referring to and so it wasn’t that I thought Russia had a right to that, and so if I should have made that more clear, I could have done it.

"But I think the larger point is, okay, Russia is not showing the ability to take over Ukraine, to topple the government or certainly to threaten NATO. That’s a good thing. I just don’t think that’s a sufficient interest for us to escalate more involvement. I would not want to see American troops involved there. But the idea that I think somehow Russia was justified (in invading), that’s nonsense.”

“I think they (Ukraine) have the right to that territory,” DeSantis added. “If I could snap my fingers, I’d give it back to Ukraine 100 percent But the reality is what is America’s involvement in terms of escalating with more weapons, and certainly ground troops I think would be a mistake. So, that was the point I was trying to make but Russia was wrong to invade. They were wrong to take Crimea. Russia did not have the right to go into Crimea or to go in February of 2022 and that should be clear.”

DeSantis also said of Putin, “I think he’s got grand ambitions. I think he’s hostile to the United States, but I think the thing that we’ve seen is he doesn’t have the conventional capability to realize his ambitions. And so, he’s basically a gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons and one of the things we could be doing better is utilizing our own energy resources in the US.”

“We could be permitting natural gas pipelines, doing a lot in Alaska. That’s where he gets all his power and obviously, he’s influenced Europe by having so much energy. So, the way to hit Putin is to hit him with energy, but I do think if you look back, all the defense analysts, and me in the past, we over-estimated his conventional capability. This has been a huge blunder for him. Huge cost and you know we’ll see what ends up happening with his longevity in power, but this has been a loss for them."

DeSantis continued, “I think he (Putin) is a war criminal… I do think that he should be held accountable,” adding, “I think those regions in the (eastern) border, and Crimea, are likely to be a stalemate for quite some time, and unfortunately a lot of people will end up dying if that’s the case. But I do not think it’s going to end with Putin being victorious. I do not think the Ukrainian government is going to be toppled by him and I think that’s a good thing.”

Join and support independent free thinkers!

We’re independent and can’t be cancelled. The establishment media is increasingly dedicated to divisive cancel culture, corporate wokeism, and political correctness, all while covering up corruption from the corridors of power. The need for fact-based journalism and thoughtful analysis has never been greater. When you support The Post Millennial, you support freedom of the press at a time when it's under direct attack. Join the ranks of independent, free thinkers by supporting us today for as little as $1.

Support The Post Millennial

Remind me next month

To find out what personal data we collect and how we use it, please visit our Privacy Policy

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© 2024 The Post Millennial, Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information