Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., told Newsmax on Thursday that Russia would not be threatening to invade Ukraine if former President Donald Trump was still in office, attributing reports of their offensive to "weakness in the way that Biden has led."
"What we need is American strength like the way Trump led," said Budd, a candidate for the 2022 U.S. Senate election in North Carolina. "This certainly wouldn't have this problem with the Ukraine and the potential Russian invasion if he was still the president."
Appearing on "American Agenda," Budd told hosts Bob Sellers and Heather Childers that the proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline was representative of "growing Russian strength."
"They're flexing their muscle like a mother bear that's longing for her cubs," he added.
Nord Stream 2 is a 765-mile pipeline with an annual capacity of 1.9 trillion cubic feet and would double the volume of gas delivered directly to Germany, according to Al-Jazeera.
Critics say the new addition to the first Nord Stream circumvents existing links through Poland and Ukraine and will increase Russia's leverage over Central Europe.
Moscow has insisted that Nord Stream 2 is a purely commercial project that will help ensure a more reliable long-term supply and help save transit fees paid to Poland and Ukraine.
Budd also stressed the importance of U.S. national security talks with Russia over the Ukraine crisis on Jan. 10. Other talks will be held on the 12th and 13th, according to Reuters.
"The good side is that we've had seven years for the Ukraine to prepare for a potential Russian invasion," Budd said. "There's only a small window when they can do this during the winter, so we have to go forward to the Jan. 10 talks and keep pushing them off the ledge from invasion."
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