This is 'serious damage Ron DeSantis did to the United States': Retired general
Photos: AFP

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that Russia's war with Ukraine is a "territorial dispute" that the U.S. should not get itself further embroiled in – and one retired American general says the Republican knows exactly the message that's sending to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

DeSantis made his comment the day before a Russian jet collided with a U.S. drone in international waters over the Black Sea. It's a radical shift from DeSantis' previous claims that America wasn't being tough enough against Russia after the country annexed Crimea.

DeSantis filled out a presidential questionnaire for Fox's Tucker Carlson Monday that asked about the war, and he said “becoming further entangled” is not in America’s “vital interests."

"The Biden administration’s virtual ‘blank check’ funding of this conflict for ‘as long as it takes,’ without any defined objectives or accountability, distracts from our country’s most pressing challenges,” DeSantis said.

"The level of ignorance by Ron DeSantis, Donald Trump, and everybody else in the [GOP] caucus who is trying to say we need to withdraw U.S. support for Ukraine — the level of ignorance is just profound, absolutely profound because it actually ignores the very bad actor you just described," said former Republican Rep. David Jolly (FL).

"It is not ever — we don't wake up as a country and say, let's go see what other countries we need to project our posture in. What we do need to do is protect freedom in the west and domestic security here at home, which means keeping in check Vladimir Putin and a Russia that would prefer that the west withdraw so they can march whatever territory they want."

He explained that it isn't about Ukraine – it's about Putin and ensuring that the U.S. doesn't end up in an actual war to protect NATO.

"Which is why the level of ignorance is so scary and shocking. And what Ron Desantis basically did yesterday was not deliver a message to Republican voters or Ukraine. He delivered a message to Vladimir Putin that says, if you hold on until the '24 election is over, I just might be your guy that makes all your problems go away," Jolly continued.

"Ron DeSantis communicated to Vladimir Putin yesterday, Donald Trump, as well. it's a terrifying moment. It's why the folks like Lindsey Graham today said, 'What the hell is going on? We need to reset the Republican dogma on this issue and do it with authority.'"

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace said that Graham should have thought of that before he became Trump's caddy. She went on to cite national security analysts that have said if Trump was president currently, he would have given Ukraine to Putin.

But it was retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey that said DeSantis knows exactly what he's doing by kneeling to Putin.

"The only thing I would disagree with is that this is ignorance," he said. "I think Gov. DeSantis deliberately, knowingly, attaching to the far-right to pick up Trump wing nuts in a primary election season. He's very well educated, very knowledgeable, a veteran, he worked with Navy SEALS on deployment. He knew exactly what he was doing, and what he did was, ... he did massive damage to U.S. solidarity with NATO interests in Europe and our own national security interests."

"And he told the Russians, hang in there, it's quite likely all we got to do is endure for another 24 months, and these people will be ours. Following which, we will see threats to the Baltic republics, Poland, Romania, you name it. So, it was a terrible statement. He knew what he was doing. His political insiders will say, well, come on, the general election will tack to the center, but this is serious damage he just did to the United States."

DeSantis has painted himself as a fighter pilot in his campaign videos. Instead, Jezebel reported that DeSantis was actually a military lawyer.

See the video below or at the link here.

This is 'serious damage Ron DeSantis did to the United States': retired general