Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today joined The Faulkner Focus with guest host Martha MacCallum on Fox News to discuss Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Biden’s weak response to this crisis.
Read highlights of the conversation below, or watch the full interview here.
On Biden’s ineffective sanctions:
“The Biden administration is testing the theory that in a gunfight, they can prevail with sanctions and sternly worded statements. They have not brought guns to a gunfight. And I don’t think that’s going to be sufficient to deter Vladimir Putin. I think this is an opportunity for the Administration to learn from past failure, to abandon that naive approach, and to start getting tough. Thugs like Vladimir Putin are not going to be deterred solely by sternly worded statements and sanctions. We have to wake up, we have to step up, and we have to start projecting strength or this is going to get much much worse.”
On what the U.S. response should look like:
“I believe there’s more we can do to expedite the delivery of critical weapons systems — stingers and javelins standout — and if the Russians decide to use their staging ground in Belarus to do an invasion from the north, we can use certain technology to slow their advance…Putin wants a quick and decisive victory and at a minimum, we can turn this into a long and brutal slog for Vladimir Putin thereby expediting his downfall in the process. The second thing I think we can do is enhance our economic response. We can sanction more Russian banks, we can critically prevent the export of semiconductor technology to Russia, and we can really hit them where it hurts. And finally, I think we need to do everything possible to fortify NATO’s eastern flank. In particular, we should be talking with our NATO allies about the deployment of intermediate-range ballistic missile systems that will get Putin’s attention that will actually scare him in a way these tepid economic sanctions won’t right now.”
On Biden’s missed opportunity:
“But I do think yesterday was a missed opportunity for President Biden to say, ‘You know what, this is a wake-up call for NATO because we are not doing enough to modernize NATO.’ It goes beyond forcing NATO members to meet their commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defense. We need to stop thinking in terms of inputs and start thinking in terms of outputs. We need to think about the division of labor between us and our allies in NATO to deny Russia the ability to further destabilize the alliance. Look what he’s already achieved. He’s destabilizing the alliance with non-traditional instruments of power, such as the leverage he has in terms of natural gas and energy. And we’re just not acting with a sense of urgency.”