McCarthy says Russia would not have invaded if US provided weapons to Ukraine sooner

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Sunday suggested that Russia would not have invaded Ukraine if the US provided weapons to Kyiv sooner.

“This is going to get stronger and rougher and what really needs to happen is, Ukraine is not asking for American men and women to fight, all they’re asking for is the weapons to defend themselves,” McCarthy told Fox News chief Washington correspondent Mike Emanuel on “Fox News Sunday.”

“If we would have taken those actions earlier instead of waiting till after Russia invaded, they probably never would’ve invaded had we done that sooner,” he added.

He later said sending weapons to Ukraine earlier could have saved thousands of lives.

“Ukraine was craving the ability to defend themselves. Had we moved the weapons to Ukraine earlier, that they could defend themselves, it would have saved thousands of lives and probably the decision of Putin not to enter,” McCarthy said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The claim came in the seventh week of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24.

The Biden administration has provided Ukraine with more than $3.2 billion in security assistance, which includes $2.6 billion since the invasion began.

That aid has included anti-tank weapons, unmanned drones, small arms, ammunition and defense equipment.

McCarthy on Sunday also took aim at the administration for rejecting Poland’s proposal to transfer MiG-29 fighter jets to a US air base in Germany, which would then to go Ukraine to help their forces fight Russia.

The Pentagon ultimately said the proposal was not “tenable.”

“The president denied Ukraine and denied Poland for providing MiGs to Ukraine to protect themselves on a flyover. All of that is a wrong action going forward,” McCarthy said.

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