White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki took a swing at Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), claiming that his calls for immediate aid to Ukraine were hypocritical because he had voted against the most recent spending package that contained such aid.
The confrontation began with a tweet from Cotton on Wednesday calling for the weapons Ukraine needed to repel the Russian occupation forces.
“No more timidity and half measures. It’s time to send Ukraine the weapons needed to end this invasion,” he said.
No more timidity and half measures.
It's time to send Ukraine the weapons needed to end this invasion.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) March 16, 2022
Psaki responded on Friday, arguing that Cotton had the chance to vote in favor of aid to Ukraine and had chosen not to do so.
“@TomCottonAR had a chance last week to back his words with actions by voting for the security assistance for Ukraine that the President announced yesterday. He and 30 of his fellow Senate Republicans voted against that money,” Psaki tweeted.
The press secretary continued, laying out a list of things that Cotton and the 30 other Republican Senators had voted against.
“Those 31 Republican Senators voted against: $13.6 billion for Ukraine, 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 9000 anti-tank weapons, 7000 small arms, 20 million rounds of ammunition,” she tweeted. “Our assistance is making a difference on the ground, and the President is delivering more.”
Those 31 Republican Senators voted against:
-$13.6 billion for Ukraine
-800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems
-9000 anti-tank weapons
-7000 small arms
-20 million rounds of ammunition
Our assistance is making a difference on the ground, and the President is delivering more
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) March 18, 2022
But Cotton fired right back, pointing out the fact that the aid for Ukraine that Psaki had outlined only accounted for a very small percentage of the total package, which had a massive $1.5 trillion price tag.
“The aid was <1% of an inflation-busting $1.5 trillion budget. It should have been sent *before* the invasion, but Biden blocked it to avoid offending Putin,” Cotton shot back, asking, “@Pressec, why is Biden still buying Russian oil?”
The aid was <1% of an inflation-busting $1.5 trillion budget.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) March 18, 2022
Psaki was not the only one arguing that Republicans, in opposing the $1.5 trillion Omnibus bill that provides some $13 billion in supplemental funding to Ukraine, opposed sending aid to Ukraine specifically.
On Thursday’s broadcast of “The View,” co-host Sunny Hostin argued that Republicans were engaging in political “posturing” and were “united” in opposing aid for Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing invasion. She also falsely claimed that Republicans were “united” in opposition to President Joe Biden sending military aircraft to Ukraine — despite the fact that a number of Republicans, including Senator Cotton, have called for exactly that.
As The Daily Wire reported:
Hostin jumped in then, arguing that a number of Republicans had voted against the latest aid package going to Ukraine. “This is a lot of posturing by the Republican Party, and I think it’s despicable, and I think it’s disgusting, and I don’t think you should defend it,” she said.
“Well, and I will say this. There’s — I’ll say this. There’s been a long-standing tradition in American politics when we’re in times of war that we really don’t attack the commander in chief,” Griffin replied. “We should give policy criticisms, which is what I’m doing to Joe Biden, but I stand by Joe Biden who is the president and I hope gets us through this conflict, but I would call on him in the strongest terms, get MiGs to the Ukrainians. Get them military aircraft so they can defend their skies.”
“Congress seems to be pretty united,” Hostin said, noting that there was bipartisan support for Biden’s decision not to assist in enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine — but then she went on to argue that Republicans were also “united” in their opposition to providing military aircraft, despite the fact that many have called for Biden to do just that.