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ICYMI: Rubio Joins Fox & Friends
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Fox & Friends to discuss Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Democrats’ COVID hypocrisy. See below for highlights and watch Part I and Part II of the full interview.
On Putin’s speech setting false pretenses for the invasion of Ukraine:
“I read the English translation of his speech — it was long, so I took excerpts of it…He went through these long, ridiculous history lessons. But at the end of the day, what he was arguing was that there are areas that these two groups, these pro-Russian puppet groups, claim that Kyiv currently possesses. It’s not just the areas that [the Russian groups are] controlling, it’s areas that Ukraine controls. And they claim those. They are going to move on those. And when they move on those, if Kyiv doesn’t give it up, Putin is going to say, ‘Well, this violates our mutual defense agreement,’ and they are going to go to war against Kyiv in a broader assault.
“That’s [Putin’s] plan, that’s what he’s setting up, and that’s what they are going to do. He’s not gonna stop with these two little small areas near his border. You don’t need 200,000 troops with all that armor and air power and sea power to simply occupy two areas where you’ve already had a strong separatist presence for a long time.”
On Putin’s perception of the Biden-Harris Administration:
“[Putin] sees conventional politicians. He understands conventional American politics, he’s been an observer of it for a long time. Vladimir Putin basically believes that it doesn’t matter who the president is, the American bureaucracy is what controls the government. Now, he may have had a different opinion when Donald Trump was in office because [Trump] was not a conventional politician, but I think he knows how to deal with someone like Joe Biden because he’s been dealing with presidents like that that operate within the confines of orthodoxy for a long time, and he knows exactly how they are going to react.
“People forget our presidents come and go, [but] Putin’s been there pretty consistently for almost over 20 years. So no, I don’t think he is thinking about or worrying about Joe Biden in the next moves he makes.
“He knew this is exactly how [the Biden Administration] would react. If you read what the White House was telling reporters last night, they were saying, ‘Well, Russia is only moving into areas that they have already been in. In essence, they are just doing openly what they’ve been doing secretly for 2.5 years. So that’s not as big a deal.’ This is silly, but [Putin] knows it and he’s playing them.
“By the time he does move on the rest of [Ukraine], it will be too late. He knows if he does this big move, as I believe he will, this is going to increase oil prices maybe $110 or $115 a barrel for some period of time. It’s going to be [a] massive disruption to the global economy. Eventually, OPEC will react, I imagine, and try to make up for it, but not immediately.
“Part of [Putin’s] calculus – no doubt about it – is that the U.S. has pulled back from oil and natural gas exploration — it’s [been made] harder under the Biden Administration. We went from being a net exporter for the first time ever, I believe, in 2018 to once again kind of falling back in our production because we want more renewables, wind, solar, and the like. That’s one of the things [Putin has] calculated.
“Biden’s energy policy is one of the things that has encouraged Putin that now is the time to do it. Because it increases oil prices, which helps him. He also knows how vulnerable that makes Europe and other countries. And he believes they won’t be able to sustain these sanctions against Russia for long because of that.”
On the Russia-Ukraine conflict’s impact on gas prices:
“When gas prices go up and fuel prices go up, it increases prices all across the board, because everything we buy and sell has to be transported by something that’s burning gas or diesel…
“Ukraine is one of the world’s largest producers of neon gas, which is critical to the semiconductor industry. Ninety percent of the neon gas used by our semiconductor manufacturers in the United States depends on neon gas from Ukraine. If that’s disrupted, it’s really going to hurt that industry here in the United States. They are also a huge producer of agriculture. Number four in wheat and number five in corn in the world. That’s going to raise global food prices which will impact us as well.
“Any time countries are cut off from a current source, they become your competitors in the global market for those goods which increases prices on everybody. We already have out-of-control prices. This is going to add to that.”
On what President Joe Biden should have done:
“I think now we are stuck with less options, but if someone else would have been [president] earlier, they would have said, ‘What is Russia’s leverage over Europe? It’s energy. Let’s ramp up energy production right now. What’s their leverage over Ukraine? It’s their ability to move quickly and tale property. Let’s speed up the amount of defensive weaponry we provide them. Let’s help them start setting up on a more rapid scale.
“This may have snuck up on the news, but intelligence has been warning about this for over nine months. We should have been preparing for this and preparing for their insurgency months ago. I think now one of the things we need to do is basically have a plan in place to recognize legitimate Ukrainian government, whether they are in Kiev, Lviv, or across the border in Poland – wherever they are in the world – we need a legitimate Ukrainian government that we can provide assistance and help to. One thing is to invade and another is to occupy and hold. We need to make this as long, as painful, and costly for Vladimir Putin as anything possible. Another Vietnam for him, another Afghanistan. If we don’t do that, he will do more of this in the future.”
On the threat of Russian cyber attacks on the United States:
“[Cyber attacks are] very difficult to defend against. We can do anything to [the Russians] they can do to us. I just think they’re willing to do things that we’re not willing to do. But I would add one more thing: it’s a very imprecise weapon. You may think you are knocking out a pipeline, but it may turn out to be something much broader and more catastrophic. And that’s one thing to keep an eye on.
“No one has ever conducted a broad cyber war. We’ve had cyber skirmishes, cyber attacks, but never cyber warfare. There is no doctrine and there is no rule for how you engage in this, and frankly, no one knows what’s going to happen when you start on that road. It could escalate pretty quickly. That is something to really be concerned about. I have been concerned about it, raising the specter of it, because I do think that cyber could rapidly escalate to something far more dangerous, including, unfortunately, kinetic military confrontation, if you run out of cyber options…. We should seek to avoid going down that road of escalation.”
On why the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) withheld information from the American public:
“[The Centers for Disease Control withheld information because it] goes against their public narratives. [They withheld information] for the same reason that Dr. Fauci told us not to wear masks, and then he said everyone had to wear two masks, and then two masks in a face shield and a space suit: because they think they can tell us whatever they want.
“The damage they have done, the public health authorities, is extraordinary. In the future, we are going to have another pandemic, far worse than COVID potentially, and no one’s going to believe these guys, because they have treated us like little children, lied to us and manipulated us and told us what we wanted to hear in some instances, and not what we wanted to hear in others. It’s done tremendous damage to people’s confidence in public health officials.”
On a Virginia parent’s protest of school masking protocols:
“There are still places in this country where kids are eating out in the cold, and they can’t talk during lunch. In many cases, these people [i.e. school board officials] want to keep these policies in place because it makes their life easier, they think…. This whole mask mandate stuff has become its own disease. People have become deranged about it, and they don’t know how to live without it. I also think there are some people that enjoy the power, the power to be able to force people to do certain things. I don’t fully understand this disease, but it is a psychotic one. Unfortunately, some of the people who have caught it are in positions of authority. … I think this is outrageous, that we are now living in a country where parents who complain about their kids’ schools are being treated like terrorists and criminals.
“Meanwhile, criminals are walking into the stores, breaking glass, grabbing whatever they want, walking out. And they’re not only not arrested; we are bailing out people that are trying to kill people in this country. A guy down in Kentucky walks into his opponent’s office, shoots him. He’s out on $100,000 bail a day later, walking the streets. That’s how crazy it has become.”