Senate Democrat says it’s time for US to consider when to send troops to Ukraine

(Video: CBS News)

A Senate Democrat openly contradicted himself during a Sunday interview, doubling down on calls for open war against Russia and arguing that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will only stop when we stop him.”

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) made an appearance on “Face the Nation” where CBS host Margaret Brennan asked the lawmaker to clarify remarks he had made earlier in the week. On Thursday, Coons had been speaking virtually at the University of Michigan when he had asserted the Russian invasion of Ukraine had turned into a “Cuban missile crisis moment.”

“We are in a very dangerous moment where it is important that on a bipartisan and measured way we in Congress and the administration come to a common position about when we are willing to go the next step and to send not just arms but troops to the aid in defense of Ukraine,” Coons said. “If the answer is never then we are inviting another level of escalation in brutality by Putin.”

After reminding the senator of his comments, Brennan asked, “Are you arguing that President Biden was wrong when he said he would not send troops to Ukraine? Are you asking him to set a red line?”

“I think those of us in Congress who have a critical role in setting foreign policy and in advising the president in terms of his decisions as commander-in-chief need to look clearly at the level of brutality,” Coons began as he framed his response. “This is a moment of enormous challenge for all of us and I deeply respect President Biden’s leadership in pulling together the West, imposing crushing sanctions on Russia and in bringing to this fight countries that had stayed on the sidelines before.”

While asserting that Biden’s leadership has been “steady and constructive,” Coons continued on to argue against the point he had just made about the success of sanctions and the united front against Russian aggression.

“If Vladimir Putin, who has shown us how brutal he can be,” the senator said, “is allowed to just continue to massacre civilians, to commit war crimes throughout Ukraine without NATO, without the West coming more forcefully to his aid, I deeply worry that what’s going to happen next is that we will see Ukraine turn into Syria.”

“The American people cannot turn away from this tragedy in Ukraine. I think the history of the 21st century turns on how fiercely we defend freedom in Ukraine and that Putin will only stop when we stop him,” Coons concluded as part of a direct call for military intervention from U.S. Armed Forces.

In addition to contradicting his claims about Biden’s success holding back Russia, Coons also did a complete turnabout from remarks made in January where he told Greta Van Susteren, “I would not support sending American troops into Ukraine in response to a Russian invasion, because frankly, I think we would simply be sacrificing them.”

Coons was dragged on social media for his apparent admitted willingness to sacrifice American lives, especially in light of his never having served in the military himself.

“So,” journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote, “when he advocates that the US send troops to fight Russia in Ukraine, he means other families.”



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