Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday sharply dismissed lawmakers in his own party who are bashing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and supporting Russian leader Vladimir Putin, disparaging them as the â€œlonelyâ€ fringe.
â€œThe vast majority of the Republican Party writ large, both in the Congress across the country, are totally behind the Ukrainians and urging the president to … take these steps [to help Ukraine] quicker. Yeah, to be bolder. There may be a few lonely voices off the side. I wouldnâ€™t pay much attention to them.â€
McConnell was responding to a question from CBS host Margaret Brennan, who quizzed him about what Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy.) has called the â€œPutin wing of the Republican Party.â€
Brennan asked: â€œThink sheâ€™s referring to Congressman Cawthorn, who called Zelenskyy a thug? Marjorie Taylor Greene said the U.S. should not fund a war the Ukrainians cannot possibly win.â€
McConnell acknowledged â€œlonely voices out there that are in a different place.â€ But he added: â€œLooking at Senate Republicans. I can tell you that I would have â€” had I been the majority leader â€” put this Ukraine supplemental [aid] up by itself. I think virtually every one of my members would have voted for it.â€
Cawthorn was just scolded last week by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for calling Zelenskyy a thug when he also baselessly insisted the Ukrainian government was â€œincredibly corrupt and incredibly evil.â€ (The comments, dubbed in Russian, have made Cawthorn a propaganda star on state-sponsored Russian TV.)
â€œMadison is wrong,â€ McCarthy said at a press conference. â€œIf thereâ€™s any thug in this world, itâ€™s Putin.â€
As for Greene, she last week lashed out at a reporter who asked if her remarks and actions â€œrepresent a sympathy for Russia and the Kremlinâ€ in its invasion of Ukraine.
â€œI donâ€™t have any sympathy for Putin and Russia,â€ Greene insisted. Yet just last month, Greene was a key speaker at a white nationalist conference where Russia was given a post-invasion â€œround of applause,â€ and the audience chanted Putinâ€™s name.
She has also attacked â€œneo-Nazisâ€ in Ukraine, parroting Putinâ€™s broad characterization of the country in a vain attempt to justify his invasion. She was also one of only eight lawmakers in the House last week to vote against legislation to revoke normal trade relations with Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
McConnell Sunday pushed for more and quicker aid for Ukraine.
â€œI think we ought to go into this believing the Ukrainians can actually win,â€ he urged. â€œAnd the way they win is for us to get these defensive weapons systems to them as rapidly as possible.â€
He said he was â€œperplexed as to why we couldnâ€™t get the Polish Russian MiGs into the country,â€ noting that the Ukrainians â€œhave plenty of pilots who know how to flyâ€ the fighter jets.
Check out the full â€œFace the Nationâ€ interview in the video clip up top.