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Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., blasted the narrative being pushed by the media that criticizing President Biden‘s handling of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis means siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
While Republicans have been outspoken condemning Biden’s “weak” leadership in recent days, several members of the press came to the president’s defense like CNN+ anchor Kasie Hunt, who suggested House Republicans were “the enemy” over a tweet criticizing Biden. MSNBC contributor Matthew Dowd said those slamming Biden should “take down” their American flags and replace them with the “Russian flag.” Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin said critics “might as well put on their Team Russia shirts.”
“I think that’s ridiculous,” Noem reacted during an interview with Fox News Digital. “By saying what we should be doing to push down Putin, I’m being clear. I’m sending a message to the people in this country, and even to the White House, there are actions you can take every day that can stop Putin from doing what he’s doing.”
Noem, who spoke at CPAC in Orlando on Friday, has also been critical of Biden, writing in a Fox News opinion piece this week that the president “has embarrassed the nation” for his “incompetence” over the global conflict. She listed “six actions” Biden should take from reviving the Keystone XL pipeline, expanding federal drilling and natural gas capability to placing heavy sanctions on Russia and urging Western allies to financially cut off the Kremlin.
“For us, it’s about sending a clear message that America is strong and that we won’t allow Russia to control the energy sector and be prioritized over American energy,” Noem said. “So right away, when President Biden came in as president on day one, he canceled the Keystone Pipeline, which would have allowed us to keep the oil flow coming into the United States, to our refineries, to make sure that we had lower energy costs where we depended on North American oil rather than overseas oil.”
She continued, “By the president stopping that project, which came through my state of South Dakota and then going forward and giving the green light to Nord Stream 2 was clearly sending the message that he was not going to prioritize American families.”
Noem accused Biden of “showing weakness” from an energy standpoint, something she said has given Putin “the confidence” to invade Ukraine “without consequences.”
Regarding the divide among conservatives over how much the U.S. should be involved in the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the governor stressed her call to revive the country’s own energy supply and invite European allies to “rely on us” over Russia would “put a stranglehold on the Russian economy and on their revenue source.”
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