WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee, joined Meet the Press Daily with Chuck Todd to discuss the latest news on the Ukraine and Russia given his meeting with members of Ukraine’s Parliament and classified briefing with the intelligence community yesterday. He also referred to the Biden administration’s regulatory hurdles to US energy development and the media’s obsession with President Trump. Excerpts and the full video are below.
“I think most Americans believe what [the Ukrainians] really need is better air-to-surface missile systems. Ukrainians want more advanced systems. I think a big part of the urgency besides the “what” is the “how fast”. This is what is expressed, both by the Ukrainians and a number of us before yesterday’s briefing.
“Those of us from the Ukrainian caucus met with five members of the Ukrainian parliament and they said the same thing: ‘We need these things yesterday, if you can’t get them to us yesterday, please get them to us today. ‘today or tomorrow at the latest.’ That’s the real frustration, the lack of certainty about how quickly they can get these things and how effective they can be.
“One of the takeaways for me at least is that we’re not very well prepared for war. We are ready to slow down the defeat of the Ukrainians, but I don’t see if we have a policy to help them win right now. We must continue to exert enough pressure and provide enough tools, both on the sanctions side and on the military side, to make sure that Ukraine wins this war and that it is not our policy to simply delay its defeat. .
On Vladimir Putin:
“Vladimir Putin is saying one thing, he’s doing something different, you can’t really trust that and that’s understandable. The guy hasn’t really shot directly with us in a very long time. Obviously, he does not yet feel sufficiently motivated to negotiate in good faith. Obviously [Putin] must come out looking like they’ve won something. I think right now, if he got away with it, it looks like he didn’t. I think we have to make sure he never leaves this war looking like he won something. I therefore believe that we are far from a truly negotiated and favorable outcome.
On US energy production:
“There are 2,200 leases that have been granted in litigation at the moment. The biggest problem is not the leases. 75% of the leases are used. The problem is the authorization process. Applications for permits to drill, the number of days it takes, has doubled over the past few years, even tripled You can’t say ‘we’re going to punish you if you don’t use [the
lease]’, but at the same time do not issue the permits they need to be able to drill. This is just one of many regulations that provide a lack of certainty for this investment. These are capital-intensive industries. You don’t just turn a valve in the middle of the federal prairies and oil comes out. It takes years and you need to have enough certainty. It probably takes 5 to 10 years of certainty to attract the investment needed to do the drilling.
“The regulatory side is so unpredictable. The problem is that under this administration, the market signals have been so negative. There are these signals like blaming oil companies for rising gas prices. They are not taking advantage of rising gas prices. They profit from the rise in the price of oil, but only if they can produce it. The natural incentive is to step aside and let them produce more. You can do it responsibly. In fact, it is irresponsible to impose this on other countries that are bigger polluters than us – be it Venezuela, Russia, African countries or enemies like Iran – the last thing we want do is to empower them. So we can do it here in the United States, but the president has to change his tone as well as his policy. »
On the media’s obsession with President Donald Trump:
“We were going to believe everything from Russia a few years ago when it came to Donald Trump. I said [Putin] is a war criminal who suggests he will provide evidence that a crime was committed by Hunter Biden and the Bidens. Here is the reality. If Hunter Biden’s name was Donald Trump Jr. or Eric Trump, you’d treat the war in Ukraine like a boy scout camp gone wrong.
“Donald Trump is Donald Trump. It’s more interesting for the Washington press than for the general public. The reality is that Vladimir Putin is a war criminal. If he had actual evidence that a crime was committed – if any of us had evidence that a crime was committed – we should present it. The problem is that the source would obviously not be a reliable source. But again, Donald Trump has baited you all. You all took the bait and now we have a discussion about the Bidens.
“What the former president is doing is nothing compared to what the current president is doing in this circumstance. That’s really the biggest problem. We have a current president who has called for regime change in Russia. C “is dangerous. We have a current president who says sanctions are never intended or will never deter Vladimir Putin. I’m far more concerned, and I think Americans are, about the current president and his behavior.””
“I might also add Chuck, when Donald Trump was president, Russia didn’t invade Ukraine. Russia only invaded Ukraine when Biden was vice president or president. I like kind of [Donald Trump’s] leadership style. Incidentally, he lowered the price of oil and gas by unleashing American innovation in energy.