The CPAC pulled back the pro-Russia tweets with some US conservatives supporting Putin

Prominent Republicans seek to counter US support for Ukraine despite Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons and evidence of mass graves and war crimes facilitated by Moscow.

The Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday tweeted — and then deleted it hours later — a message calling on Democrats to “end giving gifts to Ukraine” with the Russian flag highlighted. The tweet also referred to “territories occupied by Ukraine,” which appears to legitimize Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims to annex provinces based on a referendum that the United States and its allies consider illegal.

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the CPAC board, said Saturday that the tweet did not explain the normal approval process because he was traveling to a conference in Australia. “Because of my travel to a remote time zone, this was not approved as usual,” he said in a text message.

In a statement, the CPAC expressed its support for Ukraine but maintained its opposition to US aid to the embattled country.

“We must oppose Putin, but American taxpayers must not bear the vast majority of the cost,” the statement said. “The tweet downplayed the plight of the innocent Ukrainian people.”

The CPAC has repeatedly flirted with pro-Putin views in recent years, including hosting Hungarian pro-Russia Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the Dallas conference in August.

CPAC is not alone among US conservatives in opposing Ukrainian aid despite Putin’s invasion. Fox News host Tucker Carlson has alleged US sabotage due to leaks in a Russian gas pipeline to Europe, baseless allegations that made him aired on Russian state television. Former President Donald Trump also posted a message on his Truth Social platform in which he presents himself as a conflict negotiator.

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At a Trump rally in Michigan on Saturday, Representative Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ge) reiterated her opposition to US aid to Ukraine and said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should negotiate a peace settlement with Russia.

“We have a lot of problems here at home, and I can’t even think of sending our money to fund a proxy war with Russia,” she said in an interview. “Zelensky doesn’t run the United States government. He’s not our president, but for some reason, Joe Biden bows out every time….the American people don’t care about that war there.”

At a Michigan rally, Trump suggested he could have prevented Putin from invading Ukraine.

“That war would never have happened if I had been president and it hadn’t,” Trump said.

Many Republicans followed in Trump’s footsteps in nonsense for Putin, who Trump avoided indictment and sided with his intelligence agencies in questioning Russian interference in the 2016 election. Relations with Ukraine became partisan during Trump’s first impeachment trial, after he tried to use US aid to Ukraine to pressure Zelensky to go public. An investigation into Biden and his son Hunter’s business dealings in the country.

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