During a private briefing before Congress on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin threatened to deploy American troops to Ukraine if further aid funding for the war-torn nation is not approved by Congress.
Breitbart reports that during the briefing, Congressman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, took Austin’s side and claimed without evidence that “if [Vladimir] Putin takes over Ukraine, he’ll get Moldova, Georgia, then maybe the Baltics.”
“And then the idea that we’ll have to put troops on the ground in Secretary Austin’s word was very likely,” McCaul continued. “That’s what we’re trying to avoid.”
Meanwhile, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) disagreed with McCaul and Austin’s assessments, saying “I don’t think we got the clarity that we’ve been requesting,” and adding that “it remains to be seen whether members are satisfied with the answers provided.”
Congressman John Duarte (R-Calif.) said that he believed the briefing was “prescriptive and staged,” and that he “didn’t get a sense that any minds were changed in there.”
“It wasn’t impressive or insightful in any way other than what you might see in the news. It was just a hopeful pressure effort,” Duarte continued, before saying that his advice to Biden was to “start negotiating and quit screwing around with vacuous briefings that tell us things we already know.”
The Biden Administration has requested another $106 billion aid package from Congress, with $61 billion of it designated specifically for Ukraine. Congress has already sent at least $113 billion to Ukraine since the start of its war with Russia in February of 2022. The tide of the war has appeared to be shifting in Russia’s favor, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitting earlier this month that Ukraine’s counter-offensive has failed.