July 3, 2022

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GOP leaders silent on Trump asking Putin for favor as backlash grows

4 min read

Republican leaders have widely stayed silent on former President Donald Trump‘s recent comments, requesting Russian President Vladimir Putin to release information on President Joe Biden‘s son, Hunter Biden.

Over this past weekend, Trump spoke about Putin and Hunter Biden during an interview with Just the News on Real America’s Voice. Trump’s comments came amid ongoing conflict with Russia and Ukraine, prompting Western nations, including the U.S. to condemn Moscow and Putin.

“As long as Putin now is, not exactly, a fan of our country, let him explain where,” Trump said. “Why did the mayor of Moscow’s wife give the Bidens, both of them, $3.5 million.”

“I would think Putin would know the answer to that. I think he should release it,” Trump added.

The comments by Trump were referring to previous claims that he has made, accusing Hunter Biden of receiving money from the wife of Moscow’s former mayor Yury Luzhkov. A report from Senate Republicans also investigated the claims of money received by Hunter Biden, but the report did not find any wrongdoing.

Following his comments, Republican leaders such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have stayed silent. Other Republican lawmakers and avid supporters of Trump, including Reps. Madison Cawthorn, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham have also yet to speak out against the former president. Senate Minority Whip John Thune has also not made any public comments criticizing Trump’s weekend remarks.

Newsweek has reached out to each of the lawmakers listed above for comment on Trump’s remarks but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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Senator Mitt Romney was one of the few Republican lawmakers to criticize Trump’s recent remarks. According to CBS News, Romney, who has been critical of Trump in the past, told reporters: “I don’t think of Vladimir Putin ought to be one of the people we go to for favors right now.”

“America shouldn’t be asking for favors,” Romney added, according to CBS News.

Newsweek has contacted Romney’s office for further comment.

While a number of Republicans have stayed silent on Trump’s most recent remarks, many previously criticized his past comments on Putin and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

During an appearance on The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show last month, Trump called Putin a “genius.”

“He used the word independent and ‘we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna go in and we’re gonna help keep peace.’ You gotta say that’s pretty savvy,” Trump said during the interview while speaking about Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Shortly after Trump’s comments, a number of prominent Republicans contradicted the former president.

“What President Putin did as a ruthless thug is just invade—invaded another sovereign country and killed thousands of innocent people,” McConnell said when asked earlier this month about Trump’s comments.

Thune and McCarthy made similar comments when asked about Trump’s praise of Putin.

“I do not think anything savvy or genius about Putin.… I think Putin is evil. I think he’s a dictator. I think he’s murdering people right now,” McCarthy said, while Thune called the Russian president a “murderous thug.”

Despite silence from GOP lawmakers, a number of others spoke out against Trump’s remarks.

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“Vladimir Putin is a war criminal and a butcher. Here are two responses—President Biden: This man cannot remain in power. Trump: Please help me Vladimir,” Rep. Ted Lieu wrote in a tweet responding to the video. “I am damn proud of our current President. And nauseated by the former President.”

Similarly, Jaime Harrison, chair of the Democratic National Committee wrote, “Trump, the leader of the GOP, loves Putin more than he loves America. It has been evident for awhile that the man seriously needs some professional help.”

This is also not the first time Trump has brought up claims that Hunter Biden received money from the Moscow mayor’s wife, as he was previously impeached for allegations that he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Biden’s business dealings and threatened to withhold military assistance to Ukraine if Zelensky refused.

Former President Donald Trump recently called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to release information on alleged business dealings between Hunter Biden and the mayor of Moscow’s wife. Above, Trump is seen at a Save America rally at the Banks County Dragway on March 26 in Commerce, Georgia.
Megan Varner/Getty

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