Former Congressman and Republican prodigal son Adam Kinzinger shared a video of the late Sen. John McCain in 2015 ripping into Russia and Vladimir Putin‘s ambitions — and lamenting how the U.S. left Ukraine out to dry in the face of Putin’s brutal aggression.
Kinzinger captioned his share by saying: “I miss McCain. He was 100 percent right.”
In the interview, McCain decries the U.S.’s reaction to Putin’s “strategy to separate eastern Ukraine from Ukraine.” The frustrated Senator says “we would not send weapons to Ukraine when they were begging for them. We wouldn’t even give them intelligence because we didn’t want to provoke Vladimir Putin.”
Yet McCain says the opposite happened: “By showing weakness, we provoked Putin,” he says. “I was deeply disappointed in the United States of America when they begged us for defensive weapons and [the U.S.] wouldn’t even do that.”
I miss McCain. He was 100 percent right https://t.co/fQdOTth2LL— Adam Kinzinger #fella (@AdamKinzinger) May 24, 2023
McCain’s remarks precisely foreshadow President Biden‘s current Ukraine strategy, where U.S. policy has been to share intelligence early and often, just as McCain hoped, and to supply ample weaponry for defensive purposes.
Biden, who worked closely across the aisle with McCain when both were Senators, has repeatedly said essentially what McCain says at the end of this clip.
“Nothing provokes Vladimir Putin more than weakness,” he says. “You have to understand that Putin’s ambitions are the restoration of the old Russian empire.” McCain then utters a stinging, stirring reminder: “He cannot afford to see a free, democratic, prosperous Ukraine because the Russian people would then like to be like Ukraine.”
Even MAGA convert Senators like Lindsey Graham, another politician who worked closely with McCain, draw the line on “America First” when it comes to Ukraine, where Graham, Biden, and McCain all agree — despite revolt from the likes of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — that America’s interests are served by helping protect Ukraine from Putin.