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Cody, WY – Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) joined Mac Watson on KODI Radio’s “Mac In The Morning” program earlier today to discuss the United States’ response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Listen to an excerpt of the interview here and see the corresponding transcript below:

MAC WATSON: Representative Liz Cheney joins us on KODI. She’s taking time out of her day to talk to us exclusively. Thank you so much, we appreciate it, Representative. 

REP. LIZ CHENEY: Thank you.

WATSON: Let’s talk about Russia. Let’s talk about Vladimir Putin. The invasion of Ukraine. Are people nervous in Washington D.C.? What is the tone in Washington D.C. right now about this Russian invasion?

REP. CHENEY:Well, we are really very focused on it and deeply troubled, as the rest of the country, the rest of the world is. We had a classified briefing last night in the House from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence. And I won’t go into the details because it was a classified brief, but what I can say is that it is an exceedingly serious and grave situation. We have not had this kind of brutal military invasion on the continent of Europe since 1945. And what you’ve seen around the world is just a tremendous unity in ways that, you know, I don’t know that anybody could have imagined when you’ve got, you know, countries, even Switzerland, for example, Monaco — countries that normally have protected the secrecy of the investments of Russian oligarchs saying, ‘Absolutely not, you know, we’re gonna freeze those assets as well.’ You know, I think the whole world is watching in horror. And it’s really important that the Russians understand that America will defend our NATO allies, you know, certainly, as the Russian forces attack Ukraine, we’re providing weapons and humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people so they can defend themselves. And they’ve just been unbelievably brave. And of course, on the border of Ukraine, you have NATO members, Lithuania, you’ve got, you know, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, you’ve got situation where those members of NATO have an absolute security guarantee from us and you know, with each other, and we will certainly — there should be no doubt that we will absolutely defend all of those NATO members. So, it’s a very, very serious situation — one that we are certainly taking very seriously.

WATSON:Representative Liz Cheney joins us on the Big Horn Radio Network on KODI. Can you hold on for one minute and we’ll take a little break, and then we’ll come back and talk more about Russia? Can you hold on? 

REP. CHENEY: Sure, happy to.

WATSON:Okay. Great. Thank you so much. We continue our conversation with Representative Liz Cheney, who’s taking time out of her busy day to talk to us here on KODI. Ms. Cheney, we talked a little bit about how nervous are we about Russia. What do you want to hear from the president for his State of the Union address? Do you want to hear more sanctions? Do you want to hear more responsibility taken for the Ukraine people? What is it you want to hear tonight?

REP. CHENEY: Well, I want to hear him say that, you know, in the same way that America was the arsenal of democracy in World War II, that, you know, now, we’re still the arsenal of democracy, but we also need to be the arsenal of energy for the world. And I want to see the Biden Administration reverse course on their energy policies that are trying to put bans on oil and gas leases on our public lands, the energy policy that is trying to completely eliminate fossil fuels. It’s just — it is absolutely irresponsible. Even before what we see happening in Europe, it was absolutely irresponsible for them to be going down a path of rejecting our fossil fuel industry. And now, watching Europe, watching the extent to which Vladimir Putin, you know, his source of income are his energy exports, and that’s also his source of power and blackmail. The United States ought to stop importing Russian energy, Russian oil. We also ought to be in a position where, you know, we get back to being energy independent. I want to see the Keystone Pipeline open up. I want to see us moving as quickly as we can to authorize and get approved the export terminals for our LNG. So, you know, I think that — and I will say, it’s interesting, because the Administration is facing now, bipartisan pressure to do this. I’ve talked to a number of my Democratic colleagues in the last 24 hours, who have said, you know, they also cannot believe the Administration would continue down this path of trying to stop the fossil fuel production in the United States. It’s absolutely counter to our national security interests, absolutely counter to our economic interests. So, that’s one of the big things that I really want to hear him talk about tonight, not pushing this, you know, green energy agenda that, frankly, is not capable of meeting our needs in this country, economically, or from a national security perspective. 

WATSON:If we were to — and by the way, we’re talking with Representative Liz Cheney on KODI. If we were to sanction even more and stop getting the imported oil from Russia, wouldn’t that spike gas prices here in this country? Would America, do you think, support us doing that in order to make sure that Russia knows that we’re dead serious against invading Ukraine?

REP. CHENEY: I think that we can certainly mitigate some of that spike in prices that people see at the pump if we unleash our own energy reserves here in the United States and our own energy resources here in the United States. I think that, you know, the devastation that we’re watching in Europe, and the extent to which it is a threat to the free world, the extent to which you have Putin now saying that he’s putting his nuclear weapons on high alert. I think that that represents how grave the situation is. And if I might, one other point in that regard, and we have a briefing this morning in the Armed Services Committee about U.S. nuclear forces and the budget for our strategic forces. And I think it’s going to be critically important for the Biden Administration to understand and to change course, frankly. You know, this is not a time for us to be, you know, reducing the size of our strategic arsenal, it’s not a time for us to be slowing down the modernization of our forces. You know, we’ve got to, you know, remember peace through strength and having the will and the capability to defend ourselves is the best deterrence, the best way to make sure that we don’t actually ever have to use military force. And so, I would also like to see a real change in direction and a change in the numbers for the defense budget. We need to be now looking at these challenges, not just in Europe, but with respect to China. You know, the Administration absolutely ought to stop the talks that they’re engaged in to re-enter the Iranian nuclear accord. You know, all of those things that, you know, many of us have been advocating for are now even more important and more clearly important when you see the threat, and you see what’s happening between Russia and Ukraine.

WATSON:So, Representative Liz Cheney from Wyoming, representing the great State of Wyoming. When do we use military force? When does it get so bad that we have to step in militarily, do you think, and do you see that happening in the next year or so?

REP. CHENEY:Well, I think that there’s bipartisan agreement that we want to avoid, you know, getting into a situation where you have U.S. forces engaged with Russian forces. And I think everybody recognizes that is, you know, something that we need to do everything possible to avoid. We need to understand, though, that when it comes to NATO member countries, the ones I mentioned before, we absolutely will defend those. And you know, Russia should be under no illusions that they can continue their aggression and try to roll into these NATO countries. I think Lithuania is a particular concern because of where they are, they’ve got Kaliningrad on one side, which is part of Russia, that’s cut off from the rest of Russia. And I think that, you know, obviously NATO countries is a very clear line. And we have to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to provide military support to the Ukrainian people and to provide humanitarian support. But, you know, they’re asking us for ammunition, they’re asking us for helmets, they’re asking us for Stinger missiles and for Javelins, and we need to be getting those to them as quickly as possible. So, what history teaches us is that appeasement is provocative and it doesn’t work. And so, we have to stand very firm in order to deter violence, in order to deter war, and have the best possible chance to make sure that Russia doesn’t succeed here.

Decorative Box Shadow