'Gutless' Tom Cotton blasted for refusing to condemn Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin

'Gutless' Tom Cotton blasted for refusing to condemn Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin

With Russian troops now invading Ukraine, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ardent admirers — former U.S. President Donald Trump — is drawing condemnation from both Democrats and Never Trump conservatives for continuing to praise Putin. But most Republicans are afraid to call Trump out, even as countless Ukrainian refugees flee to Poland and other neighboring countries to escape the violence.

One of them is Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas. When Cotton appeared on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, February 27, host George Stephanopoulos invited him to comment on Trump recently praising Putin as “smart” and “savvy” while slamming the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as “dumb.”

Cotton forcefully condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but he was obviously afraid to say a word against Dear Leader Trump.

Stephanopoulos, noting Trump’s pro-Putin comments, asked Cotton, “Are you prepared to condemn that kind of rhetoric from the leader of your party?” And Cotton evasively responded, “George, you heard what I had to say about Vladimir Putin: that he is a ruthless dictator who’s launched a naked, unprovoked war of aggression.”

But Stephanopoulos doubled down, asking Cotton, “Why can’t you condemn Donald Trump for those comments?” And the Arkansas Republican continued to dodge the question, telling Stephanopoulos, “George, if you want to know what Donald Trump thinks about Vladimir Putin or any other topic, I’d encourage you to invite him on your show. I don’t speak on behalf of other politicians. They can speak for themselves. I speak on behalf of Arkansans, who I talked to this week and who are appalled at what they saw in Ukraine — and they want me right now to fight in Washington to support those brave Ukrainians.”

Cotton’s refusal to condemn Trump’s pro-Putin comments during the Ukraine crisis have inspired many negative reactions online. The Lincoln Project’s Reed Galen, a Never Trump conservative and former GOP strategist, tweeted:

Here are some more reactions to Cotton’s “This Week” appearance:

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