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GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley says Putin had his enemy murdered

 August 25, 2023

During Wednesday's GOP primary debate, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being behind the death of Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin.

She also used this occasion to criticize Vivek Ramaswamy, a new entrant to the political sphere, for seemingly prioritizing Russia over the government's current official stance of Ukraine, Fox News reported.

Haley Challenges Ramaswamy's Stance

Haley slammed Ramaswamy's comments, in which he indicated that American financial support to Ukraine is pushing Russia closer to China.

She cautioned against his approach, stating, "You don't do that to friends. What you do instead is you have the backs of your friends. Ukraine, it's a front line of defense."

Adding weight to her argument, Haley recollected Putin's words: "Once Russia takes Ukraine, Poland and the Baltics are next. That's a world war. We're trying to prevent war. Look at what Putin did today. He killed Prigozhin. When I was at the U.N., the Russian ambassador suddenly died. This guy is a murderer. And you are choosing a murderer over a pro-American country."

Although recent reports from Russian aviation officials suggest that Prigozhin was on board a private plane that crashed post-departure from Moscow, Putin and the Russian government have not provided official confirmation.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also refuted any involvement in the incident. In a statement, Zelenskyy said, "We had nothing to do with it. Everybody realizes who has something to do with it," The Guardian reported.

During the debate, Haley criticized Ramaswamy, suggesting that his leadership would jeopardize America's security, highlighting his lack of foreign policy experience.

Ramaswamy's Perspective

Responding to Haley's comments, Ramaswamy spotlighted his political outsider status as a unique advantage.

He highlighted the failures of established Republican politicians by saying, "If you have a broken car, you don't turn over the keys to the people who broke it."

Ramaswamy contended that Ukraine isn't currently a top concern for the U.S.

He implied that those who led the country into conflicts like the Iraq and Vietnam wars might again lead it into a non-beneficial war.

The young GOP hopeful emphasized a preference for using military resources domestically to secure the nation rather than deploying them overseas.

Furthermore, he has consistently advocated for defending Taiwan until the U.S. reaches a "semiconductor independence" stage around 2028.

On Tuesday, Ramaswamy said, "The real threat we face today is Communist China, and we are driving Russia further into China's arms. The Russia-China military alliance is the single greatest threat we face.  Nobody in either political party is talking about it."

Budget Allocations and Support to Allies

Haley countered Ramaswamy's narrative by drawing attention to America's defense budget. She noted that the U.S. has directed less than 3% of this budget to assist Ukraine.

This percentage is relatively minor, especially when compared to several European nations that have contributed a more significant share relative to their GDPs.

Haley also touched upon Ramaswamy's alleged plans to curtail financial support for Israel, a claim which Ramaswamy promptly refuted while expressing admiration for Israel's defense strategies.