Donald Trump’s policy of energy independence kept Vladimir Putin in check, according to the former president’s Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland, who said on Thursday that President Joe Biden should have sanctioned Russia’s oil and gas industry in the wake of his invasion of Ukraine.
McFarland said she had deliberately chosen to wear yellow – one of the colors of the Ukrainian flag – when she appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida.
After scores of Republicans accused Biden of weakness in failing to prevent Putin’s attack, McFarland said Trump’s energy policies had helped rein in Russian aggression.
‘If oil is at $40 a barrel, which it was when President Trump left office, the Russians are broke,’ she said.
‘They can’t afford to go to war. War is expensive.’
K.T. McFarland, deputy national security adviser at the Trump White House for four months, said the former president’s energy independence policy had kept Putin check
McFarland said that oil was at $40 a barrel when Trump left office. But since then it had risen steeply, filling Vladimir Putin’s coffers and funding his war machine
In this handout photo taken from video released by Ukrainian Police Department Press Service, Military helicopters apparently Russian, fly over the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine
In the area of Glukhova, the Ukrainian military engaged a armoured column of 15 T-72 tanks with American Javelin missiles
Moscow – the world’s biggest supplier of natural gas and one of biggest oil producers – could only ‘play big’ on the world stage if energy prices were high, she said.
Biden, she claimed, immediately reversed Trump policies.
‘So he immediately shut down the American energy industry oil and natural gas, the energy that we were exporting to other countries that stopped as well what happened the price of oil went sky high,’ she said.
‘Vladimir Putin is rich he gets to choose when to invade.’
McFarland was deputy national security adviser for the first four months of the Trump administration.
She initially served under Mike Flynn, and was asked to step down after he was fired for failing to disclose conversations with the Russian ambassador to Washington.
She said Biden’s sanctions would not hit Putin where it hurt – the oil and gas industry.
Her words added flesh to Republican cries that Biden was to blame – but Democrats countered saying that Trump’s cozy relationship with Putin meant he would not have reined him in.
She spoke as Ukrainian forces battled Russian invaders on three sides after Moscow launched an assault by land, sea and air, prompting tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.
Republicans lined up to accuse Biden of weakness.
‘As we pray for the Ukrainian people, make no mistake: THIS is what happens when America’s enemies see a weak and incompetent @POTUS,’ tweeted U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, adding the hashtag Bidenisafailure.
House Republicans said: ‘President Biden’s weakness on the world stage has emboldened our enemies. China, Iran, and North Korea are watching.’
Matt Schlapp, who heads the organization behind CPAC and a leading conservative voice, said the issue of Russia and Ukraine would be a key theme of the next four days.
The attack has come to Ukraine on all fronts with bombs and missiles dropped on targets across the country in the early hours, followed by troop attacks from Crimea, the Donbass, Belgorod and Belarus as well as helicopter landings in Kiev and at power plants on the Dnieper River. Chernobyl nuclear power plant has also fallen to Russian forces
A Russian Ka-52 helicopter gunship is seen in the field after a forced landing Kyiv, Ukraine
He said there were differences between the party coalition has spread.
‘You know, the Liz Cheney wing of the Republican Party. is becoming increasingly marginalized and discredited,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘So that makes people go to different voices to try to say, okay, you know, if you’re not a military expert, do you think we should use America’s might, its treasure to intervene?
‘And I would say I think most of the people here would actually listen to the case to protect Ukraine, but the president has to make it.
‘He somehow has to transform from this guy reading cue cards in the middle of the day, to a president that’s giving major primetime addresses, including press conferences, about what he thinks we should do.’
Recent polling suggests there is little support for a US role in the conflict.
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found only 22% of Republicans think the U.S. should play a major role in the conflict, compared with 32% of Democrats.