(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) The top-ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, warned in an interview on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “smells weakness” in President Joe Biden, according to a press release.
“This president has made so many concessions with nothing in return,” McCaul told CBS’s Face the Nation.
“That’s why Putin smells weakness…and if we don’t provide that deterrence, he will go in,” he added in reference to the suspected Russian annexation of Ukraine.
Former President Donald Trump kept sanctions on Russia during his tenure, but Biden overruled Congress and unilaterally lifted sanctions that prevented Russia from increasing its energy dominance in Europe.
“Congress passed bipartisan, mandatory sanctions to stop [the Nordstream 2 pipeline] from happening,” McCaul said.
The pipeline will deliver natural gas from Russia, which supplies European nations with more than 43 percent of their gas, to Germany. The Nordstream 2 would let Germany double its Russian natural gas imports.
“We never dreamed that a President of the United States would waive that in the ‘national interest of the United States.’ How is that in the interests of the United States?,” he asked.
As soon as Biden assumed office, he canceled American energy projects and authorized a Russian energy project.
“To allow Putin to dominate Europe’s energy supply, and at the same time shutting down [the Keystone Pipeline] and not allowing the United States to be a leader in energy,” McCaul said.
McCaul said the United States should reinstate sanctions on Russia and conduct joint military operations with “Poland, the Baltic States, Romania, Bulgaria to show Putin that we’re serious.”
He also said the Congress may approve, with bipartisan support, “an assistance package of lethal aid to Ukraine.”
Like Biden, McCaul predicted that Russia may annex some Ukrainian land.
“I don’t see Putin changing his course of action. It is getting very aggressive. The noose is tightening around Ukraine,” he said. “President Zelensky, as you mentioned, said he wants the sanctions now.”