See below for video of Sen. Mark Warner’s weekly press availability, held earlier this afternoon. A few key points made by Sen. Warner include:
- “Welcome to a place that’s really far down the rabbit hole – Alice in Wonderland, where up is down and down is up and there’s not a lot of rational behavior coming from unfortunately a lot of my Republican friends, where one of the most important issues since I’ve been in the Senate – support for Ukraine – hangs in the balance, and support for our allies – Israel, support for humanitarian aid for folks in Gaza…we’ve gone through a week where for months my Republican friends asked for a strong border security bill, and the border is a mess; that bill was produced in a bipartisan fashion led by a very conservative Senator, James Lankford, only to have those same folks kill that bill and then yesterday say, oh no, to process this we need to go back to border provisions even though they rejected them earlier. So if you have a hard time following this, don’t feel alone.”
- “On the other hand, I come from a rare burst of sanity, where the Senate just concluded voting on getting on the bill that would be national security alone – Ukraine, Israel, humanitarian and China/Taiwan – with 67 votes. And that meant 17 of my Republican colleagues said, let’s get on this bill; if we can hold anything close to that margin after we go through an amendment process, that will put I think the House in in an extraordinarily difficult position if the Speaker – who seems to lose more credibility every day – doesn’t at least allow his members to vote on this critical issue. And why critical? Because if we don’t stand by Ukraine, Vladimir Putin will win in Ukraine. If we don’t stand up now for Ukraine, Ukraine is literally running out of artillery shells…If we don’t stand up now, the very credibility of NATO going forward will be undermined…if America can’t be counted on for on its word…many [Republican senators] maybe because Donald Trump has tweeted otherwise, have run for the hills. That kind of American isolationism, I tell you as the chairman of the intelligence committee, is is not good for America, it’s not good for stability around the world, it’s not good for our economy. If people can’t trust America to keep its word, then we’ve got challenging days ahead. So my hope is that we will stay in session until this is done…”
- “And again, I hope we continue to bring back border security. The border is a mess and we’ve got to do more to secure the border and stop some of the programs that have been referred to as catch and release…”
- “I continue to worry that we may be looking at the perfect storm in terms of foreign interference in our elections this year. I am concerned for four reasons that we are less prepared today than we were four years ago – first, because you have nation states – China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, but particularly Russia, who has a lot to gain if they interfere in our elections and undermine support for Ukraine. Two, in the past, what Russia had to do was try to raise sometimes crazy theories and undermine faith in our elections…unfortunately, right now there are a lot of Americans who’ve lost faith in a lot of our electoral systems, so the efforts of foreign actors to accelerate or amplify those concerns about faith in our elections is much greater today than it was four years ago…”
- “I think it was very appropriate that yesterday our strikes took out one of the leaders of one of these Iranian-backed Shia groups. And I think President Biden has made clear, and I think we should make clear, the United States will always choose the time and place to respond. But any group or any entity that strikes American forces, particularly when Americans have been killed as they were in Jordan, they will pay a price. And I think it is appropriate that we continue these actions…For those of my colleagues who say bomb
inside Iran right now…I was just in the region and I had heard no voices in any country that thought we ought to get into a full-fledged war with Iran at this moment…”
- Sen. Warner also talked about opposing five additional slots at National Airport; mail issues in Richmond; and…yes, the Puppy Bowl! 🙂 Check it out, below.