Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene calls concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to invade more of Europe “lies” as she continues her crusade to cut US spending to assist Ukraine defend itself against Moscow’s invasion.
The Republican lawmaker recently appeared on far-right cable network Real America’s Voice, during which she complained about US spending on Ukraine and claimed Mr Putin had no military ambitions beyond Ukraine.
“The whole point that we’re over there in Ukraine is ridiculous,” she said. “We are paying for … a proxy war with Russia, when I’ve never seen Putin actually show in any detail his plans to invade Europe.”
She continued, saying “I don’t believe the lies that I’m being told about this.”
It is the latest in a series of controversial statements made by the second-term Georgia congresswoman.
Critics pointed out that she does not have access to Mr Putin’s war room and could not possibly know whether or not Moscow has ambitions beyond Ukraine.
Since the war in Ukraine began, analysts have feared Mr Putin may — at least initially — have set his sights on other European countries.
“If the conflict escalates beyond Ukraine, Moldova is one of the places that ranks highest on the list,” Adriano Bosoni, director of analysis at risk management firm Rane, told CNBC last March.
Earlier this week reports from US intelligence agencies determined that Russia was fomenting protest movements in Moldova in an attempt to topple the nation’s government, according to an Associated Press report.
Last year Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called Mr Putin’s invasion of Ukraine “the greatest security crisis in Europe since the Second World War” during the organisation’s summit in Madrid.
During the same summit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that if Mr Putin was left unchecked he could take aim at Nato countries next.
Ms Greene — who said she wants to introduce legislation to audit spending on the Ukraine war — has been accused of repeating Russian propaganda in the past. She claimed that US politicians use Ukraine to launder money and cover up their “crimes” while crticising defense spending in the country.
Democratic lawmaker Jamie Raskin condemned her comments and called for her to quit parroting Russian propaganda.
“Here’s a formula for the destruction of democracy: repeating Putin’s propaganda and disinformation and appeasing imperialist assaults on sovereign nations,” he said during a House session.
He also indirectly referred to her and other Republicans who criticise Ukraine spending as “cheerleaders for Vladimir Putin” who “distract us with a lot of phoney rhetoric about other issues”.