McConnell hits Biden for ‘sending a green light to Putin’ with Afghanistan withdrawal

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized President Biden for “sending a green light” to Russian President Vladimir Putin when the U.S. withdrew its troops from Afghanistan.

McConnell joined Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom Wednesday after the Senate passed aid to Ukraine in its war against Russia after a months-long delay. He argued that one of Biden’s biggest mistakes was the withdrawal because of what it showed on the international playing field.

“We kept the lid on terrorism there. We shouldn’t have withdrawn the troops,” he said. “When we did, that was like sending a green light to Putin, who was already thinking seriously about moving his troops up against the border.”

McConnell’s stance on the withdrawal has remained the same since 2021. Nearly three years ago, he called Biden’s plan to remove troops from Afghanistan “one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history.”

In the years since the withdrawal, Russia has invaded Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pleaded with a divided Congress for more aid. The package passed Tuesday will send $61 billion to Ukraine for its war.

The package has deeply divided the Republican Party, after a bipartisan bill tanked in the Senate for not including enough focus on the U.S.-Mexico border, and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) facing pressure from conservative members who wanted him to do more.

McConnell criticized the Biden administration and said they didn’t provide Ukraine with “sufficient weaponry soon enough.”

“We tended to react too slowly. So, the administration did make a number of mistakes,” he said.

“But at least at this point, after a long delay, we’ve all come together and done what is needed to be done to help the Ukrainians,” McConnell said. “And you know, this is a huge issue to the whole world.”

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