GOP lawmakers on media coverage of Biden's handling of Russia-Ukraine war: 'Pretty good-sized pass'

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Liberal media was criticized in some corners following the chaotic withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan for failing to hold President Biden accountable, a trend that could be repeating itself following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Immediately after the war began, fingers began pointing at former President Donald Trump, and even the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters for the invasion. CNN contributor Garrett Graff told his Twitter followers there was a “straight line” from the 2016 election to the Jan. 6 riot, to the day Russia invaded Ukraine.

CNN’s Jake Tapper suggested Biden was not “getting credit” for his handling of the war between Russia and Ukraine. 

“It’s just empirically factual that [Biden] has led the way even when he allowed Europe to act as though they’re leading the way … So he’s not getting credit for the things he’s handling OK,” Tapper said. 

The Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum agreed that “much of the fault” for what’s happening in Ukraine “lies in the Trump administration.” 

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    A child sits on a bed in a room hosted by the local Free Christian Church, for those fleeing Ukraine, in the village of Uszka, Hungary, Thursday, March 3, 2022.  (AP Photo/Anna Szilagyi)

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    Service members of the Ukrainian armed forces gather at their positions outside the settlement of Makariv, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, near Zhytomyr, Ukraine March 4, 2022.  (REUTERS/Maksim Levin)

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    People look at the gutted remains of Russian military vehicles on a road in the town of Bucha, close to the capital Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022.  (AP Photo/Serhii Nuzhnenko)

“There’s no question about it,” Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., said, adding that the Biden administration was the “most disastrous” of his lifetime. 

“It’s been radical left-wing ideology that he, and his party, have tried to push down the throats of the American people, and it’s been a disaster,” Hice continued. 

Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., said that specifically the media has failed to hold Biden accountable for not acting on early intelligence that Putin was planning on invading Ukraine. 

“I think the media has let him get away with a lot,” he said. “I think his refusal to accept the intel back in December, and effectively assuming that Putin is bluffing, so he didn’t put the sanctions in back then, I think they’ve given him a pretty good-sized pass on that one.” 

Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., noted the media “cannot ignore” the crises facing the administration anymore. 

“I think there are some decent questions going on, not nearly the same that if President Trump or any other Republican were in office,” he said. “But I think he’s actually, finally, getting a few hard questions.” 

Tapper, for example, questioned former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on whether the Obama administration should have imposed stricter sanctions on Russia, and if the Biden administration’s sanctions were enough. 

CNN’s “New Day” co-host Brianna Keilar also questioned principal deputy national security adviser Jonathan Finer about the administration’s choice early on in the war to describe Putin’s actions as “the beginning of an invasion” rather than a full-blown invasion.

Despite these questions, Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., said Biden was not being held accountable for creating an “energy crisis” by canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and stopping drilling on federal land. 

“Now, we’ve become dependent on foreign sources for oil, such as funding the Russian aggression right now in Ukraine,” he said.  

NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent Peter Alexander claimed the Keystone XL pipeline made no difference on U.S. dependence on foreign oil, and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes suggested purchasing oil from Iran to offset rising oil prices. 

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, shot back at Hayes, tweeting, “Actually, giving billions to American-murdering terrorists is a really bad idea.” 

Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., encouraged the media to “have some faith in the American people.” 

“Present the American people with the facts, and let them decide,” she said. 

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