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Hawley says Biden ’emboldened’ Putin to do ‘whatever he wants’ by ‘shutting down’ American energy


Sen. Josh Hawley said that it is no wonder Vladimir Putin feels emboldened to attack Ukraine because President Biden ‘shut down’ America’s energy production and green-lit Russia‘s. 

‘He [Biden] shuts down American energy production and green lights Russian energy production,’ the Missouri Republican said at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando on Thursday. 

‘Is it any wonder, is it any wonder that Vladimir Putin feels emboldened to do whatever the heck it is he wants to do?’  

The senator called on Biden to resign. 

Upon taking office, Biden shut down U.S. energy production projects like the Keystone pipeline while he lifted sanctions on the Nord Stream II pipeline that carries gas from Russia to Germany. 

At the time, Biden lifted the sanctions as a diplomatic favor to Germany, arguing that the pipeline was already 98% complete anyways. This week he reinstated the sanctions as the Russian president launched a full-throttle invasion of Ukraine. 

‘Is it any wonder that China feels emboldened to do whatever it is they have to pay want to do when we have a president who doesn’t believe in American strength? Who doesn’t believe in American energy, who doesn’t believe in American jobs and has no sense of the priorities and challenges that are threatening this country?’

While Biden set his attacks on Putin, Republicans at CPAC spent much time lambasting the U.S. president. 

‘We are the number one energy producing nation in the world we should be Joe Biden gave that away, it’s time to take it back,’ Hawley said. 

Sen. Josh Hawley called on Biden to resign in his CPAC speech 

‘If you want to send a message to Vladimir Putin, here’s a message to send him: We are going to be the ones who supply the oil and gas to the world which shut down your energy sector.’ 

And while Hawley does not think Biden has been tough enough on Putin’s energy sector, he represents one side of a divide in the GOP that does not believe the U.S. should be intervening in the region. 

Hawley called Biden’s foreign policy approach ‘haphazard’ and ‘feckless,’ but emphasized: ‘We do not need American soldiers fighting in Europe,’ in an interview with the Daily Signal. 

The senator, 42, said that he won’t ‘wait around to see what Joe Biden does’ and plans to introduce legislation to open up American energy production. 

‘We’re going to open it up like you’ve never seen,’ he told the cheering crowd. 

‘It’s time to allow the good, strong American worker to go out there and start drilling for oil, to start exploring for natural gas. To start driving again, to let them do what we do best  -to show America, to show the world the strength of this nation, put America back to work, open up American energy,’ Hawley said. 

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem seemed to agree. 

‘A strong American President that put their citizens first would take these six actions right now:’ she wrote on Twitter, followed by a series of demands that included restarting the Keystone Pipeline, reopening federal lands to drilling and natural gas exploration and putting heavy sanctions on Russia’s energy sector.  

Donald Trump‘s policy of energy independence kept Vladimir Putin in check, according to the former president’s Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland, who said on Thursday that President Joe Biden should have sanctioned Russia’s oil and gas industry in the wake of his invasion of Ukraine.

McFarland said she had deliberately chosen to wear yellow – one of the colors of the Ukrainian flag – when she appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida.

After scores of Republicans accused Biden of weakness in failing to prevent Putin’s attack, McFarland said Trump’s energy policies had helped rein in Russian aggression.

‘If oil is at $40 a barrel, which it was when President Trump left office, the Russians are broke,’ she said. 

‘They can’t afford to go to war. War is expensive.’ 

K.T. McFarland, deputy national security adviser at the Trump White House for four months, said the former president's energy independence policy had kept Putin check

K.T. McFarland, deputy national security adviser at the Trump White House for four months, said the former president’s energy independence policy had kept Putin check

Former President Donald Trump

President Vladimir Putin of Ukraine

McFarland said that oil was at $40 a barrel when Trump left office. But since then it had risen steeply, filling Vladimir Putin’s coffers and funding his war machine

In this handout photo taken from video released by Ukrainian Police Department Press Service, Military helicopters apparently Russian, fly over the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine

In this handout photo taken from video released by Ukrainian Police Department Press Service, Military helicopters apparently Russian, fly over the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine

In the area of Glukhova, the Ukrainian military engaged a armoured column of 15 T-72 tanks with American Javelin missiles

In the area of Glukhova, the Ukrainian military engaged a armoured column of 15 T-72 tanks with American Javelin missiles

Moscow – the world’s biggest supplier of natural gas and one of biggest oil producers – could only ‘play big’ on the world stage if energy prices were high, she said.

Biden, she claimed, immediately reversed Trump policies. 

‘So he immediately shut down the American energy industry oil and natural gas, the energy that we were exporting to other countries that stopped as well what happened the price of oil went sky high,’ she said.

‘Vladimir Putin is rich he gets to choose when to invade.’

McFarland was deputy national security adviser for the first four months of the Trump administration.

She initially served under Mike Flynn, and was asked to step down after he was fired for failing to disclose conversations with the Russian ambassador to Washington. 

She said Biden’s sanctions would not hit Putin where it hurt – the oil and gas industry. 

Her words added flesh to Republican cries that Biden was to blame – but Democrats countered saying that Trump’s cozy relationship with Putin meant he would not have reined him in. 

She spoke as Ukrainian forces battled Russian invaders on three sides after Moscow launched an assault by land, sea and air, prompting tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. 

Republicans lined up to accuse Biden of weakness.

‘As we pray for the Ukrainian people, make no mistake: THIS is what happens when America’s enemies see a weak and incompetent @POTUS,’ tweeted U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, adding the hashtag Bidenisafailure.  

House Republicans said: ‘President Biden’s weakness on the world stage has emboldened our enemies. China, Iran, and North Korea are watching.’ 

Matt Schlapp, who heads the organization behind CPAC and a leading conservative voice, said the issue of Russia and Ukraine would be a key theme of the next four days. 

The attack has come to Ukraine on all fronts with bombs and missiles dropped on targets across the country in the early hours, followed by troop attacks from Crimea, the Donbass, Belgorod and Belarus as well as helicopter landings in Kiev and at power plants on the Dnieper River. Chernobyl nuclear power plant has also fallen to Russian forces

The attack has come to Ukraine on all fronts with bombs and missiles dropped on targets across the country in the early hours, followed by troop attacks from Crimea, the Donbass, Belgorod and Belarus as well as helicopter landings in Kiev and at power plants on the Dnieper River. Chernobyl nuclear power plant has also fallen to Russian forces

A Russian Ka-52 helicopter gunship is seen in the field after a forced landing Kyiv, Ukraine

A Russian Ka-52 helicopter gunship is seen in the field after a forced landing Kyiv, Ukraine

He said there were differences between the party coalition has spread.

‘You know, the Liz Cheney wing of the Republican Party. is becoming increasingly marginalized and discredited,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘So that makes people go to different voices to try to say, okay, you know, if you’re not a military expert, do you think we should use America’s might, its treasure to intervene? 

‘And I would say I think most of the people here would actually listen to the case to protect Ukraine, but the president has to make it.

‘He somehow has to transform from this guy reading cue cards in the middle of the day, to a president that’s giving major primetime addresses, including press conferences, about what he thinks we should do.’

Recent polling suggests there is little support for a US role in the conflict. 

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found only 22% of Republicans think the U.S. should play a major role in the conflict, compared with 32% of Democrats. 



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