MSNBC host and contributor Katie Phang attacked Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., on Tuesday for his recent response criticizing the Biden administration’s response to Russia’s ongoing invasion into Ukraine, claiming it could devolve into a “national security issue.”
DeSantis was previously asked about his opinion regarding Ukraine and Russia and the U.S. continuing to get involved in defense spending. While DeSantis insisted that “peace” is the optimal goal, he called out the Biden administration’s “blank check” response to what is a “territorial dispute” between the two countries.
“While the U.S. has many vital national interests – securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party – becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” DeSantis said.
The “Katie Phang Show” host suggested that this reference to the invasion as a “territorial dispute” could put DeSantis on the level of a national security risk.
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“If DeSantis thinks that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a ‘territorial dispute,’ he is a national security risk to the United States,” Phang tweeted.
Several Twitter users blasted this description of DeSantis’ opinion as well as her perspective of the Ukrainian invasion.
“National security risk? I guess we should just start arresting people who disagree with our foreign policy? If an insufficiently hard line vs Putin is a crime, I have news about Barack Obama, Joe Biden, & Hillary Clinton,” National Review senior writer Dan McLaughlin tweeted.
Daily Caller editor-in-chief Geoffrey Ingersoll remarked, “When are reporters going to stop advocating for the criminalization of thoughts.”
“This was basically Obama’s position in 2014. Is Obama a security risk?” National Review contributor Pradheep Shanker noted.
Writer and historian Mike Coté wrote, “I disagree with DeSantis on the issue, but this rhetoric is completely nuts. People can disagree on how engaged we should be in a foreign war without being a ‘national security risk.’ The US isn’t even at war! Shades of Woodrow Wilson’s Sedition Act here.”
“A mind is a terrible thing to MSNBC,” conservative author Varad Mehta joked.
Conservative Twitter user Phineas Fahrquar wrote, “This is hyperbolic nonsense. I strongly support Ukraine and would disagree with the Governor over the extent of aid, but DeSantis’ position is reasonable. To call him a ‘national security risk’ for this marks her as an unserious person. Perfect for MSNBC.”
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In the rest of DeSantis’ response, the Florida governor insisted that the U.S. should work to avoid escalating involvement in the conflict.
“Without question, peace should be the objective. The U.S. should not provide assistance that could require the deployment of American troops or enable Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders. F-16s and long-range missiles should therefore be off the table. These moves would risk explicitly drawing the United States into the conflict and drawing us closer to a hot war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers. That risk is unacceptable,” DeSantis said.