Thursday 11 November 2021

GOP Rep. Turner, Tucker Carlson Spar Over Call to Send Troops to Ukraine — ‘We’re About to See Debacle Number Two’


Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) sounded off on his call for President Joe Biden to deploy troops to Ukraine in response to Russia’s military building up forces along the northern border.

Turner warned of a “debacle number two” for the Biden administration after his botched withdrawal out of Afghanistan.

Host Tucker Carlson asked why there was an emphasis on Ukraine’s borders instead of the United States’ borders. He wondered why the average American should “care about the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

Turner told Carlson he needed “a little education on Ukraine” because the nation was an important strategic ally of the United States in addition to being a democracy, while Russia was led by an authoritarian.

Partial transcript as follows:

TURNER: Tucker, thank you so much for bringing attention to this issue.

This is one that the mainstream media is not going to be reporting and it’s incredibly important for people to understand what Russia is doing and really the threat to the United States and the threat to the United States allies.

CARLSON: Well, that’s kind of the force of my question. My first one is, I mean, there a lot of military families that watch this show. You’ve called for sending American troops to Ukraine, to the region as you put it.

I wonder if you could explain to them why it is in America’s interest as their kids risk their lives in Ukraine?

TURNER: Sure. Yes, well there’s a couple things which I’m certain you’re aware of, Tucker, that the United States signed with Russia and Ukraine a treaty in Budapest guaranteeing the territorial integrity of Ukraine in exchange for them during the dismantling of the Soviet Union of giving up nuclear weapons of not being a nuclear weapon state.

And in Bucharest NATO Summit, we also agreed with our NATO allies that Ukraine, which is an ally to NATO would receive a pathway to NATO.

Russia sees Ukraine as importantly strategic because it’s also the pipelines to give gas to Europe that they’re trying to bypass with respect to building Nord Stream 2. As you know, Russia has already invaded Ukraine once and taken Crimea, which they’ve militarized and there are likely very advanced nuclear weapons there.

We already have troops in Ukraine. The issue of our letter is to raise the importance so that people understand that we’re about ready to see debacle number two of the Biden administration. You know, we all think of Afghanistan and that’s really coming out of this. China and Russia are going to be more adventuresome as a result of the failures of the administration.

But when you think of Afghanistan, you think of those planes leaving and people running toward those planes, people falling to their death, and as you know, Tucker, if those planes were Russian, no one would — Russian — no one would be running toward them. This is the idea of America, of democracy, of freedom. We pride of our democracy.

CARLSON: But may I just ask really quick, so —

TURNER: And it is certainly one that is an ally of ours.

CARLSON: So the lesson of 20 years in Afghanistan and the tragic and cowardly and counterproductive exit from Afghanistan is that we need more troops in Ukraine? I don’t — so why should the average American care about the territorial integrity of Ukraine, sincerely?

TURNER: Okay, so Ukraine is of strategic import of the Black Sea. Most of the reports that you’ve been — we’re seeing of Russia being aggressive with our ships, aggressive with our planes, are in the area of the Black Sea which is an important area for us and our NATO allies.

Four countries, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey all border it, of which we have reciprocal defense agreements. Now, we’ve not asked anybody to go to war with Russia or to send troops to Russia for Ukraine for the purposes of going to war with Russia, but it is incredibly important that they be providing lethal weapons, that they be providing Intelligence so that Ukraine has an ability to defend itself.

CARLSON: But why is it incredibly important to Americans? I mean, I know from Ukrainian perspective, it’s incredibly important, but why is it important enough to risk American lives to preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine, when by the way our own territorial integrity has been flagrantly violated by a million foreign nationals coming in over the past 10 months?


CARLSON: I wonder why the emphasis on Ukraine’s borders and not ours.

TURNER: Well, I think everyone has emphasis on our borders, Tucker, but certainly, I think you would understand —

CARLSON: Have you called for American troops to our borders?

TURNER: That the important — everyone has called for American troops.

CARLSON: Reallly?

TURNER: That is on our side, Tucker, but I think what you’re missing here is …

CARLSON: I haven’t heard anybody say that.

TURNER: … the fact that because the President has failed in Afghanistan, both Russia and China are looking at threatening their neighbors including Taiwan, including Ukraine, countries that are important to both our allies and to the strategic importance of the areas in which they are.

What we’ve asked for is don’t be Obama. You have to recall, Tucker that when Ukraine was invaded and Crimea fell, Obama sent blankets to President Poroshenko in Ukraine. He came to the House floor joint session of Congress and he begged for lethal weapons to be able to defend his own country against Russia.

He said, I can’t defend my country with blankets. That’s what we’ve said is, make certain that we give them what they need. Give them Intelligence, give them lethal weapons. Give them assistance. Give them guidance because it’s important.

CARLSON: But why would we — why but why would we take Ukraine — but hold on, why would we take Ukraine’s side and not Russia’s side? A sincere question. If you’re looking for the American perspective —

TURNER: We are already on Ukraine’s side.

CARLSON: No, but why? I mean, who’s got the energy reserves? Who is the major player in world affairs? Who is the potential counterbalance against China which is the actual threat? Why would we take Ukraine’s side? Why wouldn’t we have Russia’s side?

I don’t — I’m totally confused.

TURNER: Well, clearly, maybe if you get out a map and you look to see where the Black Sea is and Bulgaria and Romania — Romania where we have our missile defense system.


TURNER: Greece and Turkey, the entrance to the Black Sea and then from there, you look at what the conflicts have already been in Russia’s areas there. Ukraine is a democracy, Russia is an authoritarian regime that is seeking to impose its will upon a validly elected democracy in Ukraine and we’re on the side of democracy, that’s why people were chasing those planes in Afghanistan and wouldn’t be chasing Russian ones.

We are for democracy, we’re for liberty. We’re not for authoritarian regimes coming in and changing borders by tanks. Russia isn’t showing up on the border with ballot boxes. They are showing up on the border with tanks, and that’s why we need to make certain we’re on the side of democracy and give the aid that’s necessary so we don’t have another Obama sending blankets to a country that’s being invaded.

CARLSON: Yes, I mean, I — yes, I am for democracy in other countries, I guess, but I’m really for America.

TURNER: Sure you are.

CARLSON: And I just think that our interest is in counter-balancing the actual threat, which is China and the only other country with any throw weight that might help us do that is Russia and our continuation of the Cold War has pushed Russia toward China and that does not serve our interest in any way, does it? Or maybe it does in the way that I kind of see it.

TURNER: Okay, so you have to understand this is not a Cold War. This is a Hot War. Russia has already invaded Ukraine and has taken Crimea and annexed it and militarized it. It’s not like we have somehow resolved that.

CARLSON: But how did that affect — wait hold on. So, I’m glad you pointed that out.

TURNER: They have militarized it.

CARLSON: Like so how did that hurt America exactly? So, they came into Crimea. I guess, I’m against that.

TURNER: You are and they militarized it.

CARLSON: But I didn’t notice a detectable decline in American living standards.

TURNER: And brought in advanced weaponry systems.

CARLSON: Okay, but why do I care again?

TURNER: The issue — you care because what Russia is doing is they are rebuilding their area access of denial with Kaliningrad, Crimea, and Syria to fortify what they had when they had the Warsaw Pact countries which many of which now are in NATO and are headed towards NATO, so that we can make certain that liberty and democracy is strengthened.

You should be against, as I’m sure you are, Tucker, any country using tanks to invade another and putting their will on that country and changing that country’s border, that’s what they have done and that’s what they are doing.

CARLSON: Yes, academically I am, but I mean, you know there are a lot of priorities on the map here.

Last question, so you sent this letter to President Biden asking for the commitment of American troops to a foreign country.

TURNER: We did not. And you’ve misread the letter because what it says it actually tells specifically we’re not saying send troops into Ukraine. We said make certain that there is a military presence in the area so we can provide aid to Ukraine in two important areas, Intelligence. If we have troops in the air, we can watch, we know what happens, we know what Russia is doing.

The second is lethal weapons so that Ukraine can defend itself. No one is suggesting —

CARLSON: I got it. Send lawyers, guns and money. I totally got it.

TURNER: And none of the members of Congress suggest that anybody should go to war in Ukraine with Russia. No one, and the letter does not say that either.

CARLSON: Well, I’ll let our — our viewers can pull up the letter on the internet and reach their own conclusions. That’s not the conclusion I reached, but have you —

TURNER: They can go to my website. I’ll put it up. I’ll put it up, Tucker. They can read it there.

CARLSON: Absolutely, but final question, our democracy is undermined when people come from other countries and that devalues the vote of the people who already live here, so that’s an attack on our democracy. A democracy has to have defendable borders.

TURNER: Tucker, I am not —

CARLSON: So where is the American military presence?

TURNER: The Biden administration —

CARLSON: Where are — but where are the Republicans demanding that we send the 101st or whatever it takes to close the border? I’ve never heard anybody say that. They’re all whipped up about Crimea.

TURNER: Hey, Tucker unlike your anti-Trump friend, J.D. Vance, I supported Donald Trump in closing the border including defending him in his impeachment trial, which you yourself reported and that border was being closed on the policies that we had under Donald Trump, which I supported when I supported Donald Trump.

CARLSON: Actually, actually, you wrote a letter to Trump —

TURNER: So, I don’t know why you’re talking to me on the border —

CARLSON: No, no. Whoa, whoa.

TURNER: I’m with you on this, Tucker.

CARLSON: Now, we’re getting factual here, and I don’t want to be mean, but you wrote a letter to Trump in which you said yes, protect the border, but make certain that we don’t in any way take troops or materiel from our foreign commitments and bring them to the border. You said that in your letter and so, I just thought that’s just a different perspective.

TURNER: Donald Trump sent lethal weapons and Intelligence. I said, I’m a senior member of the Armed Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee.


TURNER: What I’ve asked for in that letter, Donald Trump did.

CARLSON: Oh yes, No, I’m aware. I thought it was stupid then. I think it’s stupid now.

TURNER: The Obama administration did not and we believe that this administration is likely not to and what I love about the fact that you brought attention to this is because the mainstream media is going to let Russia invade Ukraine without anybody knowing. They’re not going to know —


TURNER: That the Biden administration had options on the table, things they could have done and they could have done right now which are not sending troops to Ukraine and fight for —

CARLSON: Right, but that’s not quite as pressing as Hondurans invading Texas.

TURNER: And the Biden administration, this is going to be another —

CARLSON: Which is maybe a little more imminent for most of us. That’s my only point. We have an invasion going on right now, a million people bigger than the population of Boston or Denver or Washington, D.C., and we’re all like, oh no, no big deal. That’s a big deal in my view.

TURNER: Tucker, I don’t know who you’re arguing with here because I’m on your side on all of those issues except apparently you need a little education on Ukraine. I’d be glad to send you some stuff on it.

CARLSON: Well, I appreciate it, Congressman. Thank you.

Post a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search