Former Texas Republican Will Hurd, who is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, expressed disappointment on Sunday at the way the Biden administration handled the weekend mutiny in Russia.
Hurd said the only words from the White House were, “We are actively monitoring the situation.”
“There’s another word for that — it’s wringing hands and doing nothing,” Hurd told ABC’s This Week.
Hurd added that the US missed an opportunity to take advantage of the chaos surrounding Russia and its Wagner mercenary group.
“We’ve had intelligence reports that suggest it continued,” Hurd said. “We should have planned with our allies. We should have planned with the Ukrainians how to take advantage of this opportunity.”
US spy services briefed the White House after learning in mid-June that Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was planning an armed insurgency against the Russian defense establishment, the Washington Post reported reported.
President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday.
“They discussed Ukraine’s ongoing counter-offensive, and President Biden reiterated US steadfast support, including through continued security, economic and humanitarian assistance,” the White House said in a statement. “The leaders also discussed the recent events in Russia.”
Foreign Minister Antony Blinken also commented on the mutiny and called it “extraordinary”.
“I think you saw cracks that weren’t there before: First, when Prigozhin questioned the premises of Russian aggression against Ukraine — the argument that Ukraine or NATO somehow posed a threat to Russia.” And a direct challenge to Putin himself,” Blinken told CNN.
In the uprising, which lasted less than 24 hours, Prigozhin’s forces seized control of Russia’s military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don, which oversees fighting in Ukraine. The mercenaries later advanced towards Moscow, but retreated after the Kremlin reached an agreement to send Prigozhin to Belarus.
During the interview, Hurd also targeted his 2024 rivals, former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for their stance on the Ukraine war, which he called “wrong.”
“I wish they would stop fighting with American companies like Disney and be more interested in supporting our allies against attack and against democracy,” Hurd said in a subtle jab at DeSantis’ ongoing legal battle with the entertainment giant.