Russia crisis reveals deep division Trump has created in GOP's foreign policy

While Congressional leaders would like to portray Biden as weak against Russia, Tucker Carlson wants to portray him as the aggressor.

Russia crisis reveals deep division Trump has created in GOP's foreign policy

WASHINGTON -- The Republican National Committee issues press releases criticizing President Joe Biden's weakness in dealing with Russian provocations against Ukraine. Tucker Carlson, echoing Kremlin talk points, tells Fox News' millions that Biden is the one who provokes Russia at night.

One day, a South Dakota governor might send a fundraising email to a conservative voter. Kristi Noem warns that the U.S. is being "pushed around" by Russia. Then, Eric Greitens (a Missouri Senate candidate) sends a fundraising email the next day, warning about "bloodthirsty Washington elites and their "warmongering” against Russia.

While the party's congressional leaders claim that Biden is being too cautious with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) wants to impeach Biden because he "threatened war with nuclear Russia."



 

These mixed messages show a deeper division within the Trumpified conservative movement over foreign policy. More established leaders are sticking to the hawkishness and George W. Bush style of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush while America Firsters, a newer group, say that voters are tired of being the world’s police and want them to concentrate on domestic problems.

"Most Republicans in Congress remain steadfast on Ukraine. They want us to stand with this country, and they understand the danger that Russia poses," stated Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), a former State Department official, who recently returned from a bipartisan congressional visit to Ukraine. They are beginning to feel the pressure from their base, because he (Carlson), speaks to more Republicans than any other American every day.

According to a Democratic aide, the ongoing sanctions talks are still being held in Congress. The aide said that negotiators are trying to navigate internal fears from Republicans wearing red MAGA-hats and under pressure from Russia.

The aide stated that crossing Tucker Carlson's threshold is difficult. "The MAGA universe pressures are strong."

Trump-aligned senators still call for more assistance to Ukraine and a tougher line against Moscow.

However, opinion leaders question the decades-old Washington consensus by questioning it on the campaign trail as well as on major platforms in conservative media. They believe that the U.S. should be able to use its considerable weight to control forces such Putin and promote democracy overseas.

Anthony Sabatini (a Florida state representative) said that non-interventionism was the future of Republican Party and that he's not looking back. He is running for Congress in the key battleground district where he served as a MAGA firebrand. "His (former President Donald Trump) greatest achievements was that he transformed the party into a party of peace.

Sabatini said that the U.S. was being bogged down by foreign fiascos such as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and blamed both Republican "neocons” and hawkish Democrats. He stated that voters want to be focused on domestic issues.

Although Washington does not seriously consider going to war over Ukraine, some right-leaning Americans oppose heavy sanctions against Moscow as it could increase the cost of gas for American customers.

"We, as elected officials in America, should be asking ourselves how this affects America and the most important, the middle class." Sabatini said. "There is nothing to gain here, and only loss."



 

Carlson is the leader of this movement, but other conservative media figures like Dan Bongino (Fox News), Turning Points USA founder Charlie Kirk, and Candace Owens (Conservative influencer) are also joining the chorus. Vance and Arizona's Blake Masters.

Sometimes their views are laced with "deep-state" conspiratorial thinking . Last week, Donald Trump Jr. told Fox News' Sean Hannity that American intelligence agencies may be lying to them to "instigate us getting into another conflict."

Others have suggested that Biden may be interested in Ukraine's defense because of his son's business interests in the country.

Greitens, who was a Navy SEAL and resigned as Missouri's governor in 2018 amid scandals, said that "the D.C. elites that want war should be willing to lay down their own lives first." He is currently running for the Senate.

This is the type of rhetoric that was more common in anti-war times, particularly during the Iraq War.

Since at least the time of Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan, libertarians have had an anti-interventionist streak. They were however kept out of power by the Reagan-conservative coalition, which considered national security one of its three essential legs.

Trump's heterodox foreign policy, which defies any coherent doctrine, is difficult to define. He released a two-sentence statement last week that stated only that Trump's actions with Russia and Ukraine "would never have occurred under his Administration."

This has created a vacuum where Republican doves claim they are embracing his America First agenda in Ukraine, while GOP hawks maintain that they are acting on Trump's desire for a strong America.

"Carlson is the only one on this. This is a matter for which President Trump is not with him. Grant Stinchfield, Newsmax host, said Monday that no one was more tough on Russia than Donald Trump. He also stated that Carlson is right on many points. We are almost always in lockstep. This one is different.

Although foreign policy is rarely the dominant aspect of domestic politics, Russian meddling in 2016's election and Trump’s attempts to press Ukraine to produce political dirt on Biden, which led to his first impeachment, cast the current standoff as unusually partisan.

It has flipped the traditional notions about partisan foreign policies on their head. During joint interviews, Democratic senators can sometimes sound more hawkish that their GOP counterparts.

As Trump's associates, such as the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have made allies uncomfortable by maintaining friendly relations with Moscow during its threat to Ukraine. Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, was praised by Carlson during a series broadcasts from Hungary. He visited Moscow Tuesday for a meeting with Putin.

Michael Caputo was a Cold War veteran who served as an adviser to Boris Yeltsin, the former Russian President. He became a top Trump advisor after he said that he was "torn" about what the U.S. should be doing in Ukraine, particularly since he has relatives in the country.

"I am an anti-communist. I was a soldier in the U.S. Army during the Cold War. He said that he worked in the trenches under the Reagan doctrine in Central America against Nicaraguan Sandinistas, but that Ukraine had made errors that led to this mess.

He said, "I understand the sentimentality of being anti Russian three generations later." They are not our friend but they don't pose a threat to our existence like Communist China.

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