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President Biden expressed in a briefing Friday that sanctions imposed on Russia were never meant to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin which raised the eyebrows of former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and “Fox & Friends Weekend” host Pete Hegseth.
In an interview with Fox News at CPAC 2022, McEnany suggested that the president is unaware of the violence occurring in Eastern Europe since he’s proven not to be serious about acting.
“Ok, so the sanctions were not meant to deter, so what were they meant to do? Be a giant act of symbolism?” she questioned. “I mean, this is President Joe Biden just simply not with it.”
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The former press secretary pointed out how Vice President Kamala Harris during her trip to Germany was explicit about the sanctions being an intentional deterrence, as well as Secretary of State Antony Blinken, so it’s clear Biden is “not paying attention.”
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 19: U.S. President Joe Biden answers questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on January 19, 2022 in Washington, DC.
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
“The consequences are real,” she said. “Don’t send in the 101st Airborne, but why not level the sanctions? Now is the time.”
Hegseth agreed, considering Biden’s deployment of sanctions a “sham” and explained how mistrust amongst allies is “really dangerous” for the world.
“It doesn’t inspire confidence in our allies at all,” he said.
The host theorized what a GOP strategy would look like in approaching the crisis under President Trump which would include “strong, forceful” actions, a little uncertainty, “blunt” statements and name-calling.
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“[Putin] got the moment he wanted,” he said. “He got an empty suit, an imbecile administration… They’re still going to the podium and saying that climate change is the biggest threat we face in the world. It’s fundamentally unserious. Everyone else laughs.”
“What a joke,” McEnany chimed in.
As tensions in Europe heat up, many Americans are showing concern for escalation and potential impact on the U.S. Hegseth empathized with the American public who no longer have a president with their interest in mind.
“I do think the stress is, sort of, a culmination of a feeling and a recognition that there still is evil in the world,” he said. “There are strongmen who have ambitions on territory… You have to have a respect and a rapport to them where they know you mean business and there’s none of that at the podium for Joe Biden right now at all, which means the rest of the world feels like it’s open season. And that’s unnerving for the rest of us.”
Kayleigh McEnany, Pete Hegseth at CPAC 2022
McEnany argued there’s a reason Biden has been haunted with general chaos, from a crashing economy to foreign warfare, while completing a full range of sanctions to cushion Russian fire should be priority no. 1.
“What are you waiting for, Joe?” she said. “A country’s being invaded… and you still haven’t leveled the toughest of sanctions? You’re still not up for the job?”
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