DeSantis says Ukraine comments were 'mischaracterized'

DeSantis says Ukraine comments were ‘mischaracterized’

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday clarified remarks about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, telling Fox Nation’s “Piers Morgan Uncensored” that his previous comments have been “mischaracterized.” 

“Well, I think it’s been mischaracterized. Obviously, Russia invaded that and that was wrong,” he said. “They invaded Crimea and took that in 2014. That was wrong. What I’m referring to is kinda where the fighting is going on now, which is that western border or eastern border reaching Donbas and then Crimea.”

DeSantis told host Piers Morgan that his comments calling the war a “territorial dispute” were referring to “the conflict area,” instead of saying that he “thought Russia had a right to that.”

He called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” and “basically a gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons.”

DESANTIS SAYS PUTIN IS ‘A WAR CRIMINAL’ IN PIERS MORGAN INTERVIEW

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the social and economic development of Crimea and Sevastopol via a videoconference at the Moscow’s Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on March 17, 2023.  (Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

“And so, if I should have made that more clear, I could have done it,” he noted. “But I think the larger point is, OK, Russia is not showing the ability to take over Ukraine, to topple the government or certainly to threaten NATO. That’s a good thing. They’ve been weakened. You now have the fighting in those areas.”

However, the governor doubled down on his position, saying the U.S. should not escalate its involvement and that more American weapons or ground troops would be a “mistake.”

DESANTIS RATTLES ESTABLISHMENT GOP AFTER SAYING US INTEREST IN UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR IS NOT ‘VITAL’

An inside view of the damaged building after Russian attacks in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on March 22, 2023.

An inside view of the damaged building after Russian attacks in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on March 22, 2023. (Muhammed Enes Yildirim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“I just don’t think that’s a sufficient interest for us to escalate more involvement. I would not want to see American troops involved there. But the idea that I think somehow Russia was justified, that’s nonsense,” he said. 

“If I could snap my fingers, I’d give it back to Ukraine 100 percent,” DeSantis added. “Russia did not have the right to go into Crimea or to go in February of 2022, and that should be clear.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a Freedom Blueprint event in Des Moines, Iowa, on March 10, 2023. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a Freedom Blueprint event in Des Moines, Iowa, on March 10, 2023.  (Kathryn Gamble/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Previously, the governor told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that “while the U.S. has many vital national interests . . . becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them.”

His statement drew swift criticism from Republicans.



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