WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) yesterday joined Liz MacDonald on The Evening Edit to discuss the Nord Stream 2 legislation put forth by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and the Biden Administration’s failed policy on Russia.
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Hagerty on support for Sen. Cruz’s Nord Stream 2 legislation: “We’re hearing exactly the same thing: that the White House is trying to pressure the Democrats to oppose the Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill that Senator Cruz put forward. The Senate should overwhelmingly pass this bill, help us regain the leverage that we had, but the Biden Administration’s been all about appeasement, giving up our leverage and getting nothing in return. Whether it be the extension of [the New] START [Treaty], you think about our president showing up and showing a list of 16 industries that the Russians should not touch with their cyber-attacks. There should be no industry that’s on the table with respect to Russia and their cyber-attacks. We’ve been dealing from a position of weakness, we need to regain our strength. That’s why this Nord Stream 2 bill should pass.”
Hagerty on the need to be tough on Russia: “Well, I think they gave away the leverage that we had in place before this Administration came into office. If you think about it, under the Trump Administration, we had the Nord Stream 2 sanctions in place and Russia wasn’t piling up on the Ukrainian border. If you think about it, before this Administration came in, we held the START talks up. We needed to get something in return for that. Biden extended it for five years and got nothing in return. What Russians are doing, what Vladimir Putin is doing, is he’s looking and observing what this Administration is doing. Whether it be Afghanistan, our Southern border, what’s happening with China on the Taiwan Strait, look at Iran and the situation in the Middle East, the Russians are taking notice of this. They see our vulnerability, they see our weakness. We need to regain our strength. And again, that’s why this bill that Senator Cruz is putting forward should pass.”
Hagerty on the Biden Administration’s failed policy on Russia: “I think the Biden Administration is inviting this, again by showing weakness. The Russians haven’t seen this opportunity since Obama was in power. That was the time that we lost Crimea to the Russians. So again, Russia’s observing the actions of this Administration, the weakness of this Administration on foreign policy, and they’re taking advantage of it. It’s no surprise that they aren’t de-escalating. In fact, de-escalation has given them leverage right now. We should be again, creating American strength and American leverage in the situation, not negotiating from a position of weakness.”