CPAC backtracks on pro Russia tweet as some US conservatives back.jpgw1440

CPAC backtracks on pro-Russia tweet as some US conservatives back Putin

Prominent Republicans oppose American support for Ukraine, despite Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons and evidence of mass graves and Moscow-backed war crimes.

The Conservative Political Action Conference tweeted a message on Friday — then deleted hours later — urging Democrats to “end gifts to Ukraine” while displaying a fluttering Russian flag. The tweet also referred to “territories occupied by Ukraine,” appearing to legitimize Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims of annexing provinces based on a referendum that the US and its allies see as illegal.

CPAC Chairman Matt Schlapp said Saturday the tweet didn’t go through the normal approval process because it was traveling to a conference in Australia. “Due to my travel to a distant time zone, it was never approved as usual,” he said in a text message.

In a statement, CPAC expressed its support for Ukraine but maintained its opposition to American aid to the embattled country.

“We must stand up to Putin, but American taxpayers should not bear the brunt of the cost,” the statement said. “The tweet downplayed the plight of the innocent Ukrainian people.”

CPAC has repeatedly flirted with pro-Putin views in recent years, including hosting pro-Russian Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban at a conference in Dallas in August.

CPAC is not the only American conservative to oppose Ukrainian aid despite Putin’s invasion. Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson has claimed US sabotage of leaks in a Russian gas pipeline to Europe, unsubstantiated claims that have earned him airtime on Russian state television. Former President Donald Trump also posted a message on his Truth Social platform offering to be a negotiator for the conflict.

At a Trump rally in Michigan on Saturday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) reiterated her opposition to US aid to Ukraine and said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy should negotiate a peace deal with Russia.

“We have so many problems here at home that I can’t even think of sending our money to fund a proxy war with Russia,” she said in an interview. “Zelensky does not run the United States government. He’s not our President, but for some reason, Joe Biden always leans forward. … The American people don’t care about the war over there.”

At the Michigan rally, Trump suggested he could have stopped Putin from invading Ukraine.

“This war would never have happened if I were president, and it didn’t happen,” Trump said.

Many Republicans have followed Trump’s example, rambling on about Putin, whom Trump did not condemn and sided with his own intelligence agencies when he questioned Russian interference in the 2016 election. Relations with Ukraine turned partisan during Trump’s first impeachment after he attempted to use US aid to Ukraine to pressure Zelensky to announce an investigation into Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings in the country.