GOP Rep. McClintock: We Need Audit, EU to Step up, Assurance that Money Paid to Bidens Isn’t Influencing Before More Aid Sent to Ukraine

On Tuesday’s broadcast of the Fox Business Network’s “Kennedy,” Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) said he will not continue to support aid to Ukraine until the European Union matches the aid already provided by the U.S., there’s a complete audit of the money sent by America, there are assurances that the country hasn’t had an illegitimate relationship with FTX, and “the millions of dollars that were paid to the Biden family by Ukraine over the years isn’t influencing our foreign policy.”

McClintock stated, “I supported the initial assistance to Ukraine because I felt if they could defeat Russia or at least inflict massive damage on Russia, that it would cause other dictators around the world to think twice before attacking their neighbors. But of course, we’ve done that now. Ukraine is primarily a European security issue. Now, you look at the numbers, the United States has given about $54 billion of assistance to Ukraine through October 3…the EU had only 16 billion. So, they’ve got about half of our GDP. But they’ve only given about a third of the assistance that we have. Now, given the fact that’s happening right on their doorstep, not on ours. It seems to me they need to at least match what we’ve already done. So, that would be my first condition. 

Click here to read the full article at Breitbart CA

Pelosi Makes Unannounced Visit to Ukraine, Vows U.S. Support ‘Until the Fight Is Done’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) made an unannounced trip to war-torn Ukraine over the weekend, meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and reiterating that America stands in solidarity with the country.

She was accompanied by a group of senior House Democrats, including Foreign Affairs Committee chair Gregory Meeks, Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff, and Rules Committee chair Jim McGovern.

video posted to Zelensky’s Twitter showed the members of Congress walking down the road in Kyiv to greet Zelensky outside the presidential palace.

“We are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom,” Pelosi said during the meeting with Ukrainian officials, according to the video and an NBC News translation. “Your fight is a fight for everyone, and so our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done.”

“This shows that the United States today is a leader in strong support for Ukraine during the war against the aggression of the Russian Federation,” Zelensky said, thanking the U.S. for the backing.

“Our delegation traveled to Kyiv to send an unmistakable and resounding message to the entire world: America stands firmly with Ukraine,” the group said in a statement. “When we return to the United States, we will do so further informed, deeply inspired and ready to do what is needed to help the Ukrainian people as they defend democracy for their nation and for the world.”

With military clashes ongoing, the lawmakers’ journey was potentially dangerous and politically significant. Pelosi is now the most senior U.S. official to visit Ukraine since the Russian invasion began. President Biden and Vice President Harris have not visited the nation since Russia launched its incursion. Late last month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Ukraine to meet with Zelensky.

“Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done,” Pelosi told Zelensky, the Twitter video indicates.

Click here to read the full article at the National Review

Kamala Harris Tweet Mistakenly Suggests Ukraine Is Part Of NATO

A now-deleted tweet from Vice President Kamala Harris stated Tuesday that the US was supporting Ukraine against invading Russian forces “in defense of the NATO alliance” — wrongly indicating that Ukraine was a member of the 30-nation bloc.

“When I was in Poland, I met with U.S. and Polish service members, thanking them for standing with our NATO allies for freedom, peace, and security,” read the tweet from @KamalaHarris, which was preserved in a screenshot taken by the WayBack Machine internet archive. “The United States stands firmly with the Ukrainian people in defense of the NATO alliance.”

The tweet was originally posted around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. A second, nearly identical tweet was posted almost an hour later around 9:20 pm.

“When I was in Poland, I met with U.S. and Polish service members, thanking them for standing with our NATO allies for freedom, peace, and security,” the new tweet read. “The United States stands firmly with the Ukrainian people and in defense of the NATO alliance.”

The only difference between the two posts is the added word “and” in the second sentence, clarifying that the US supports Ukraine and the NATO alliance. 

The language of both posts was taken from remarks the vice president made over the weekend during the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting. 

Click here to read the full article at the NY Post

How Can You Help People In Ukraine From California? A Ukrainian Lawmaker Has Some Ideas

Oleksandra Ustinova — who has been a member of the Ukrainian parliament for almost three years — was visiting her husband in Texas, where he is based, when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.

Ustinova, a former anti-corruption activist, quickly flew to Washington D.C. to advocate for help for the country.

“I know a lot of decisions, unfortunately, regarding the lives of Ukrainians are taken here,” she said of the United States’ Capitol. “How strong the sanctions are going to be, how strong the response to what Putin is doing is going to be, is directly aligned with how many people die in Ukraine.”

The Sacramento Bee spoke with Ustinova on March 3, 2021, offering her views on how people in California and across the United States can help Ukraine from afar. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN UKRAINE?

“Lately, Putin has gone nuts. The first few days, he was shooting military bases and infrastructure. Airports were destroyed. Bridges are blown out. Main roads are totally destroyed. I cannot imagine how long and how expensive it’s going to take to fix this disaster, because the country lies in ruins.

Click here to read the full article at the Sacramento Bee

Trump Praised Putin’s Justification To Invade Ukraine As ‘Genius’ And ‘Savvy’

Former President Donald Trump praised Vladimir Putin in a podcast interview on Tuesday, describing the Russian president’s justification for invading Ukraine as “savvy” and “genius.”

In an appearance on the “Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show,” Trump said Putin’s recognition of the independence of the Ukrainian breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk — two-thirds of which are controlled by Ukraine and are not recognized by most other nations but backed by Russia — was a smart move.

“I went in yesterday, and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine — Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful,” Trump said when asked about the news. “I said, ‘How smart is that?’ And he’s going to go in and be a peacekeeper.”

Trump baselessly claimed that the reason the Russian president chose to invade Ukraine now — rather than during his own presidency — was that he had a better relationship with Putin than President Joe Biden did.

“I knew Putin very well. I got along with him great. He liked me. I liked him,” Trump said. “I mean, you know, he’s a tough cookie, got a lot of the great charm and a lot of pride. But the way he — and he loves his country, you know? He loves his country.”

Trump’s assertion that Putin moved to invade Ukraine because Trump was no longer in office ignored that Russia was fueling a war against Ukrainian forces in the Donbas throughout his time in the White House. Moreover, Trump was impeached in 2019, in part, for withholding about $400 million in military aid from Ukraine as it contended with this conflict against Kremlin-backed rebels. The war has killed over 13,000 people and displaced 1.5 million.

Trump froze the congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine as he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch investigations into Biden and his son Hunter over baseless allegations of corruption. He also wanted Zelensky to pursue an inquiry into a bogus conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election. 

Asked what went wrong with respect to Ukraine, Trump on Tuesday repeated his long-standing and false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.

“Well, what went wrong was a rigged election and what went wrong is a candidate that shouldn’t be there and a man that has no concept of what he’s doing,” Trump said, later adding that an invasion “never would have happened with us — had I been in office, not even thinkable. This would never have happened.”

Trump also tied the escalating tensions in Ukraine to long-standing conservative grievances about immigration, saying that the US should employ military force akin to that used by Russia to ensure the US-Mexico border was secure.

“We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen,” Trump said. “They’re going to keep peace all right. No, but think of it. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy. … I know him very well — very, very well.”

And when asked whether he was concerned about the US becoming militarily involved in a conflict in Ukraine — which the US has resisted — Trump again brought up the US-Mexico border.

“I’d rather see them send soldiers to our southern border,” he said, referring to US troops. “I don’t like the idea he’s sending a small number of troops.”

Trump also said the US had not responded forcefully enough to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

“It’s a joke compared to what the other side does. You know, he sends 3,000 troops. I heard this morning, 3,000 troops. What’s that going to do except get in trouble?” Trump said. “No, I would like to see our southern border protected, and they are handling Ukraine so badly.”

Click here to read the full article at Business Insider

There’s No Other Choice for California – America Has to Lead The World


Syria has become the disaster for a generation and Iran wants to lord over the Middle East along with anywhere else it can get its grips into a region or government by whatever means necessary. In Eastern Europe a resurgent Russia continues seizing Ukraine and Putin still believes the downfall of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. Make no mistake; Russia seized Ukraine and South Ossetia illegally by force – against the post-World War II order where disputes are more than likely settled at the United Nations or through recognized diplomatic channels. In this regard California policymakers, elected officials and high-ranking commission members need to stop the anti-Trump campaign.

China still flexes its muscles in the South China Sea and only the U.S. steps up to lead through the chaos. The Pacific Ocean and East Asia are in California’s economic and security backyard. South America is also seeing disaster unfold with ungovernable regions in Central America, and Mexico’s disastrous narco-drug wars are directly affecting southern California. Venezuela is also on the brink of collapse. If Venezuela falls, South America could be looking at what Libya has become in North Africa – a breeding ground for this hemisphere’s version of ISIS – and ISIS is still on the march. It’s also not unheard of to think the ruthlessly sophisticated Mexican drug lords could use Venezuela’s oil the way Axis powers used fuel from conquered countries to further their ambitions. The ramifications of Venezuela falling are truly damning for California, and now Russia wants to claim Venezuelan oil assets (CITGO) in California over unpaid loans to Russian oil company, Rosneft.

NatoAnders Fogh Rasmussen, the former Prime Minister of Denmark and Secretary General of NATO, argues effectively in his new book, “The Will to Lead” that only one country can lead the world out of the abyss – the United States of America – and I’d add only one state has the engineering ability and technological know-how to lead a renaissance in defense weaponry so America can lead – California. Mr. Rasmussen states, “There is only one nation (U.S.) in the world capable of putting out these fires.”

Californians will argue this isn’t fair. Why can’t other nations take the lead against tyranny? But after the Obama administration’s “leading from behind” policy and the isolationist tendencies of the U.S. before WWII these two historical facts illustrate why America and California can’t leave the world stage. According to Mr. Rasmussen, “Only America has the diplomatic reach, financial resources, and military firepower to lead the world against the Autocrats, rogues states, and terrorists.” When America doesn’t lead and confront evil, World War I & II, 9/11 and the failed Libyan invasion transpire. Does any credible source, organization or government believe anyone, but America, could’ve stopped the Soviet Union during the Cold War? It was California factories, manufacturing and technology, which led this victory for the world. The facts are overwhelming in favor of America and California leading the world, otherwise the human rights California believes in, as epitomized by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, won’t be realized.

Forget ideology and regime type and purely on a military and intelligence reach – only America – has the means and necessary resources to defeat worldwide alliances, failed MENA nations, and worldwide powers like Iran, China, ISIS, al-Qaida and Russia. Unless these terrorist entities and nation-states are defeated, deterred, isolated or balanced by the U.S., then freedom will give way to despotic, autocratic rule. If you are skeptical about American power or exceptionalism, then research the governing possibilities that exist in Africa, the Middle East, East Asia and South America to defeat today’s problems. Moreover, the world has a refugee problem because of brutal, stifling regimes in the MENA region and Central America. Not because these people want to leave their homelands for no reason at all. There literally aren’t opportunities for most of them and if you are a child or women you have almost zero human rights. When confronted with these facts do the California legislature, local policymakers and Governor Brown still want this vitriolic, anti-Trump rhetoric to continue? As Tom Brokaw said, “Rage isn’t a policy.”

Mr. Rasmussen further extrapolates what happens when America doesn’t lead. Moral greatness of other European nations wither, rising powers with hegemonic ambitions take the forefront, and refugees proliferate the EU. In March 2014 when Russia invaded Ukraine that was the first European land-grab since the end of WWII, and was during the popular heyday of America shrinking back from her global responsibilities. Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry decried the invasion in these terms: “Unbelievable act of aggression. And you just don’t, in the 21st century, behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a trumped-up pretext.” Those forceful words (but only words) didn’t coax the Russians into different behavior, or return Crimea. If anything the Russians have only grown more emboldened to misbehave.

This type of thinking by the former secretary of state is dangerously naïve, though admirable, speaking those words publicly. Yet admiration and feel-good statements didn’t help the Ukrainians. Now Syrians, Iranians, Chinese, Venezuelans and many African people’s can also relate to feel-good sentiments that never help them leave poverty or other hopeless circumstances. And in today’s global world, California and the technological prowess of Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach in Los Angeles have to step to the forefront and confront these challenges while working with the Trump administration whether they like it or not.

Wars such as WWI and WWII – where approximately 77 million people died – could’ve been avoided with forceful American leadership. Only America led by California’s manufacturing and aerospace industries defeated Germany twice, routed Imperial Japan, crushed the Soviet Union during the Cold War and with California leading America can defeat the above-mentioned tyrannies devastating billions worldwide.

The post WWII order will cease to exist unless America leads, and California stops its fascist-like hatred of the president. Here’s why: Europe is too weak and divided and no Asian power is strong enough or has the diplomatic clout to balance and deter China. Additionally, the Libya mess is a direct result of America not taking the leading role, and the Europeans retreating after overthrowing the Libyan government.

Only America has the understanding of leading while not taking land, crushing people’s dreams, and being a power than just wants to be left alone. America conquers, and then gives back its conquests. This reason means America is the only country in the world with the moral authority and military might to confront today’s evils: sex trafficking, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation by powerful regimes. Again I ask, who else will lead like America  – and does it for the sake of peace and prosperity – no one. And California could then be at the forefront of environmental issues that are important to California citizens. This is an opportunity to confront evil and make the world environmentally cleaner at the same time.

Most world powers today don’t agree with or even seem to understand the supposedly archaic ideas that come from balance of power, deterrence and preemption. In the exact opposite way of thinking currently happening from California’s elected officials they need to work with President Trump while acting with conviction to hold the President’s and Congress’ feet to the fire when it comes to enforcing redlines against murderous governments and terrorists that want to attack California.

Our freedom loving culture will rue the day if we don’t confront bad actors in our Pacific coast neighborhoods. If California wants stability, and vast worldwide economic expansion that has lifted billions out of poverty since WWII, then California has to use their economic might, and engaged citizenry to resist the urge of raging at the president for the sake of rage. The fires blazing in our hemisphere and globally won’t be put out if America continues turning inward and not forcefully taking hold of their world policeman responsibilities. And California would be prudent to support those actions.

Unfortunately for California where reason can prevail (unlike in most of the world) policymakers can’t just sit down with Premier Xi or Ayatollah Khomeini and quote the likes of Voltaire, Montesquieu and Locke while espousing the virtues of European enlightenment, and believe they will take a quantum leap forward in diplomatic affairs. The world is more medieval than we care to admit, but if we don’t return to American realist political enlightenment backed up by American military hardware that Californians built and supported for decades then we will return to that state of man decried by the Dark Ages.

Todd Royal is a geopolitical risk and energy consultant based in Los Angeles.