WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined Cavuto: Coast to Coast on Fox Business to discuss President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to Congress and what the United States should do next to aid Ukraine and sanction Russia.
Hagerty on Zelensky’s address to Congress: “He was very clear with us a couple of weeks ago when he met with senators over a Zoom conference, and he’s remained very clear that he wants as much support as he can possibly get. I don’t blame him one bit for asking, but he also knows and acknowledges that that would be very difficult for us to do as he has requested. You heard Senator [Jim] Risch say that there are ways to provide support from the ground that would have much the same effect. The javelins and the stingers are having very impactful results right now with the Russian army. So that is sort of the spread, if you will, in terms of what’s being delivered versus what is being asked.”
Hagerty on sending MiGs to Ukraine: “At this point, you know, I’m trying to get to the bottom of how the Administration has responded to the request for MiGs. You know, Poland could have delivered those MiGs directly. They chose not to. They chose a different path, putting a military base—a U.S. military base—in Russia [Germany]. You know, then we had Secretary of State Tony Blinken greenlight that, and then the next day, the Pentagon walked that back. I’ve reached out to get a classified briefing on what’s driving that decision, but I think we need to be very careful as we move into this realm because we’re dealing with a very unpredictable leader in Vladimir Putin, who has a very large nuclear capacity.”
Hagerty on a Ukraine no-fly zone and Ukrainian strength and resolve: “I think [imposing a no-fly zone] adds extra risk to the equation. Right now, we’re watching Vladimir Putin in a situation that he didn’t predict. I can only imagine that when he met with President Xi at the opening of the Olympics that he told Xi this would be a very quick experience. You know, we’ll be out in a few days. We’ll divide NATO. We’ll get the United States hung up. And by the way, we’ll cut a very favorable gas deal with you. Xi agrees to that but tells him, look, we’ve got to wait till after the Olympics. Putin goes in the day after the Olympics, and he finds something he wasn’t expecting, and that is a very aggressive Ukrainian public. He’s bitten into a porcupine. This didn’t happen in a couple of days. The Ukrainians have risen up. They’ve fought back. And President Zelensky is a great communicator, Neil. He’s actually captured the imagination not only of Ukrainians and inspired them but of people around the world. We’ve been locked down for more than two years. We’ve been deprived of our liberty, of our freedom, and we’ve seen Zelensky and Ukrainians step up and fight for their liberty and their freedom. So, everybody’s inspired. Everybody is supportive. The question is, how do we do this in the most effective basis?”
Hagerty on imposing additional sanctions on Russia as well as Communist China: “Neil, I think this is something we need to be looking at very carefully. I am looking at putting secondary sanctions on the Russian banks—all of the Russian banks—and looking at putting sanctions in a way that would prevent an alternative payment system from being put in place so that China could do just what you describe outside of the normal payment system. We need to be looking at all of those areas, and I am completely in favor of moving further in the sanctions field to, again, choke off Vladimir Putin’s war machine.”