Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis toughened his stance on Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling Putin a “war criminal” who should be “held accountable” for the invasion of Ukraine, just days after he claimed the Ukraine war is not a “vital national interest.”
DeSantis angered Republican hawks, Never Trumpers, and neocons less than two weeks ago when he characterized the Ukraine-Russia conflict as a “territorial dispute” that is not a “vital” U.S. interests.
DeSantis told Fox News’s Tucker Carlson:
While the U.S. has many vital national interests — securing our border, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party — becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them.
After DeSantis’s initial comments, Never Trumper Adam Kinzinger (IL) dismissed DeSantis as being “in with the crazies,” and former GOP congresswoman Liz Cheney scolded DeSantis for seemingly forgetting “the lessons of Ronald Reagan.”
However, during an interview with Piers Morgan, DeSantis took a tougher position on the Ukraine conflict. In that interview, set to air on Fox Nation on Thursday, DeSantis branded Putin as a “war criminal” and demanded he be “held accountable” for invading Ukraine.