An audio clip has emerged of Sen. Josh Hawley standing up to a reporter hassling him over the Russia-Ukraine war.
Obtained (though not published) by Fox News, the clip reportedly begins with HuffPost reporter Jonathan Nicholson confronting Hawley about an arrest warrant for Sen. Lindsey Graham that was issued by the Russian government last month.
“I mean, shouldn’t that settle the question about how much and who the U.S. should be supporting — the one side in this war saying it’s okay to, you know, try to arrest a U.S. citizen?” Nicholson asked, according to Fox News.
FYI, Hawley has never suggested he supports Russia. He has, however, been critical of all the money the U.S. government has been funneling to Ukraine during the war.
New report from government watchdog shows yet again what a disaster Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan was – and billions of taxpayer dollars wasted https://t.co/w8bgWfENVM
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) February 27, 2023
Now we need an inspector general to do the same for Ukraine – trace every dollar spent – and hold people accountable
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) February 27, 2023
Responding to Nicholson’s question, the senator reportedly asked, “Well, who’s advocating supporting Russia?”
The HuffPost reporter responded by saying “there’s a perception” that those who’re against giving Ukraine more money support Russia.
“Why would that be the case? Who’s voted to support Russia or help Russia? Who rhetorically has said Russia is the good actor here?” Hawley replied. In response, Nicholson doubled down, arguing that “some people” have equated opposition to funding Ukraine with support for Russia.
Annoyed by the reporter ignoring his question, the GOP lawmaker promptly replied, “You haven’t answered my question!”
“Who has said [that]. Name me somebody. I’m a lawyer, so make me an argument. Who has said that they support Russia?” he added.
Hint: Nobody has said that.
“Well, I think my question is about …,” Nicholson began to reply with a non-answer answer before Hawley cut him off.
“You can’t name anybody. Can you name somebody,” the senator said.
“Off the top of my head, I’ll admit I cannot say, cannot find you [anyone] who said ‘I support Russia,’ but there are some people in the caucus, both over here [in the Senate] and in the House, who seem to believe that this is not a high priority to support Ukraine,” Nicholson replied.
He was right about that, though that still had nothing to do with supporting Russia.
“Well, it’s not higher than China,” Hawley replied before turning the tables on the leftist reporter.
“Listen, we live in a world of tradeoffs. Are you pro-China? I mean, do you want Beijing to — are you okay with the listening post in Cuba? Let’s use your logic. Your logic is if you don’t make anti-Russia the top priority, you’re pro-Russia. My logic would be if you don’t make China the top priority, you’re pro-China,” he added.
The most important deficit America has is the trade deficit with China. Tonight I forced a vote to tariff China until we get the trade deficit to zero and bring home American jobs pic.twitter.com/Le0nGwm74B
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) June 2, 2023
The senator then asked Nicholson whether he personally supports China.
“I’m a lowly reporter,” he replied.
“Well, I’m just asking you. You asked the question and you don’t have anything to support it. I’m asking you, is that right? Should I call everybody who doesn’t want to make China the top priority a communist?” Hawley fired back.
“I think China hasn’t threatened to arrest one of your colleagues,” Nicholson responded.
This time Hawley fired back by unleashing the Kraken.
“China has threatened to arrest me. They have expelled me from a country. I’m banned in China. I’m sanctioned in China personally. They’ve done the same thing to Marco Rubio. China has just set up a listening post off of our coast in Cuba,” he said.
“China is threatening to invade Taiwan. China cracked down on Hong Kong, expelled them. I was there with them in the streets. Are you saying China’s a good actor? You think they’re better actor than Russia? Do you think they should be our top foreign policy threat?” he added.
“I think there’s a question …,” Nicholson tried replying before being cut off again.
“I think you don’t know what you’re talking about, frankly,” the Republican congressman told him.
“I appreciate your candor, sir,” Nicholson reportedly replied with a chuckle.
Before the two went their separate ways, Hawley expressed gratitude over their conversation being “caught on tape” and said he looked forward to reading Nicholson’s article about it.
“I look forward to seeing [your article]. If you don’t print it, we will absolutely release it. Lovely to talk with you,” he said.
Fox News notes that Nicholson never wrote an article about the exchange.
Furthermore, when contacted by Fox News about the missing article, a spokesperson said that “while HuffPost journalists talk to [elected officials] every day, most of those conversations don’t end up being published and HuffPost isn’t publishing a story based on Jonathan Nicholsons’ conversation with Sen. Hawley.”
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