Sen. Cotton Blasts Biden 'Appeasement' of Putin

top cotton stands on stage at a podium and speaks.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2021. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., on Sunday decried President Joe Biden’s “appeasement” of Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin as he appears to ready to invade Ukraine.

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Cotton called out Biden’s position toward Putin as problematic from the start.

“Joe Biden's weakness is the appeasement of Vladimir Putin for the last year,” he said. “In his first week in office last year he gave Vladimir Putin's number one foreign policy priority, an extension of a badly one-sided arms-control treaty, and then he's given his number two foreign policy priority by waving sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that is built between Russia and Germany.”

“Along the way he is also let out a Russian cyber criminal before his prison sentence was up. Just a couple days ago he declared that a minor incursion in Ukraine might not elicit a strong Western response, and there are reports this morning even that the administration has already taken the toughest sanctions off the table, sanctions on Russia's oil and gas industry, and removing it from the international banking system,” he continued.

According to Cotton, Putin has taken Biden’s record over the past year “and I'm afraid that he thinks now is the time to go for the jugular in Ukraine, which he has wanted to do for as long as he's been in power.”

Cotton also decried the U.S. military being “obsessed” about diversity in the ranks, saying the military singular focus should be on protecting the nation.

“We've gotten hundreds and hundreds of calls about the kind of egregiously inappropriate training sessions that commands have had around the world,” he lamented.

“While the diversity of America may be reflected in our military and strength, something I saw in my years in the Army, it's not something that our military needs to constantly obsess about,” he added. “Troops fight for the flag on the shoulder, and they fight for the man and a woman to their left and right …. We need our military to be focused 100% on protecting America.”

Cotton vowed in the Senate vetting of the next Supreme Court justice, there won’t be any “smear” of a candidate.

“I suspect we will all keep an open mind, we will review the nominee on her merits,” he said of Biden’s vow to select an African American woman for the high court.

“I can't say that I've got wild expectations that Joe Biden is going to nominate someone who I think I can support, or many Republicans can support because I've seen dozens of his nominees to the lower courts and they've almost to a person been left-wing ideologues who think judges should make the law rather than apply and uphold the Constitution and the laws as they are passed,” he said.

“I can say one thing that I won't do, and I doubt any Republican will do, is engaged in the kind of grotesque smear campaign against the character of fine men like Clarence Thomas or as we saw what happened with Brett Kavanaugh two years ago,” he declared.

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