WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined Making Money with Charles Payne on Fox Business to discuss the urgency of putting America’s strategic interests first in relations and negotiations with our allies and adversaries around the globe.
Hagerty on putting America’s interests first: “My condolences to the family of the American that was lost there in Ukraine. That’s the first I’ve heard of it, Charles. Thank you for sharing that with me and with the audience. But you bring up a very important point. President [Volodymyr] Zelensky did a wonderful job himself of putting Ukraine first when he reached out to us this week, a very emotional plea. And I think it really generated a lot of emotion here in America, certainly among my colleagues. But we’ve got to take a very careful look at this because, as you say, there’s a big cost to this for America. We’ve got to remember the strategic perspective on a global basis. Tomorrow, President [Joe] Biden will be talking with President Xi. China was and remains our most strategic adversary right now. We can’t afford to get ourselves so tied up and bogged down on the situation with Russia and Ukraine that we lose sight of the challenge that China presents, particularly with the designs that it has on Taiwan at this point. So, I think we need to be very measured and very careful as we approach this. We are approaching this and helping Ukraine, but we need to do it in a measured way that takes into account America’s interests first.”
Hagerty on Biden’s upcoming telephone call with President Xi: “Well, I’m sure China’s watching the situation very carefully in terms of what’s happening with Russia and Ukraine. I hope China realizes that Vladimir Putin has become a pariah around the world and that this has had a devastating effect on the Russian economy at the same time that it’s having a terrible effect on Ukraine. The longer this drags out, though, I think the better China likes it because it’s keeping the U.S. and our allies in NATO preoccupied. I think President Biden needs to make very clear to President Xi that we’re not taking our eye off the ball of what’s happening in that part of the world with respect to Taiwan, with respect to the East China Sea, the South China Sea. We’re not taking our eye off the ball in the least, and that we expect Xi to perform according to international standards and to not be supportive of what’s happening between Russia and Ukraine. Again, reminding President Xi of the status that Putin has found himself in, again, being an international pariah. I don’t think that’s where the Chinese leader would like to see himself, and President Biden should remind him of that.”
Hagerty on a Ukraine no-fly zone: “At this point, that’s not where I am. We need to be very careful about engaging here as we look at the broader set of challenges that we’re facing, certainly with respect to China. They’ve got their sights set on Taiwan—the largest manufacturer of semiconductors. North Korea is back to its old games, and what’s happening in Iran. That just is heartbreaking to see.”
Hagerty on the Biden Administration seeking to revive the disastrous Iran nuclear deal: “It’s far too much of a concession. This is a vanity project for [Climate Envoy] John Kerry and Joe Biden. They’re putting America’s strategic interests in the rearview mirror as they’re doing anything they can to cut a deal with the largest state sponsor of terror, which is Iran. Again, taking the Iran Islamic Revolutionary Guard off the terrorist list. We saw what happened when we took the Houthis off the list. They immediately went back to their terrorism. Again, giving more money to Iran when we’ve got, as you say, Charles, we’ve got the ability to fill our oil needs right here in America. We can become energy independent again, just as we were 12, 14 months ago, but the Biden Administration will not take its eye off this war that they’ve got on the American energy industry. They won’t take their eye off of getting a deal done with Iran at the same time. They’re putting our strategic interests again, as I said, in the rearview mirror.”