Watch: GOP Senator Rick Scott Refuses To Condemn Trump For Praising Vladimir Putin, Says It’s ‘Up To Him’


Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott Dodged A Reporter’s Question Over The Weekend On Whether Donald Trump Should Condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin For Invading Ukraine.

Scott, Who Leads The Senate GOP Arm Dedicated To Electing More Republicans, Was Quick To Condemn The Russian Autocrat Himself But Said It Was ‘Up To’ Trump To Do So.

Speaking To CBS News At The Sidelines Of The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Scott Instead Pivoted To Calling On Democrat President Joe Biden To Do More For Ukraine’s Government And People And Claiming Trump’s Main Focus Was Helping Republicans Take Back The Majority In Congress In This Year’s Midterms.

Trump Invoked Outrage Across The Political Spectrum Late Last Week When He Praised Russia’s Authoritarian Leader’s Unprovoked Attack On Ukraine As A ‘Genius’ And Said His Plan Of Designating Two Separatist Breakaway Areas As ‘Independent’ Was ‘Pretty Savvy.’

During His Big Speech Headlining CPAC On Saturday Evening, Trump Walked His Comments On Ukraine Back But Continued To Speak Glowingly Of Putin. He Instead Blamed The Biden Administration For Russian Forces’ Invasion.

‘The Russian Attack On Ukraine Is Appalling. It’s An Outrage, And An Atrocity That Should Never Have Been Allowed To Occur,’ Trump Told His Audience In Florida Last Night.

Scott Would Not Say That Trump Should Condemn Putin Despite Repeatedly Being Asked

However, He Also Said: ‘Yesterday Reporters Asked Me If I Thought President Putin Is Smart. I Said Of Course He’s Smart. The Problem Isn’t Putin Is Smart — Which Of Course He Is Smart — It’s That Our Leaders Are Dumb.’

Shortly Before The Speech, CBS Journalist Robert Costa Asked Scott Whether Trump Should Be Condemning Putin In Future Comments.

‘Well, Clearly, We All Ought To Be Condemning What’s Going On In Ukraine. I Mean, Putin Is A Thug. We Need To Hold Him Accountable. I Hope The Biden Administration, Hope Everybody, You Know, Holds — Does Everything They Can To Hold The Biden Administration –‘ Scott Began.

Costa Cut Scott Short To As If That Should Include The Former President.

‘Well That’s A Decision By President Trump,’ Scott Replied. ‘You Know, Biden — Putin Is A Thug, It’s Despicable, My Heart Goes Out To The People Of Ukraine.’

‘I’m Going To Do Everything I Can To Help The Ukraine Citizens, We Need To Make Sure We Provide All The Resources We Can.’

Costa Pressed Him Again, ‘So Is It Up To Him Whether He Condemns Putin Or Not?’

‘Of Course It’s Always Up To Him,’ Scott Said.

The Senator Brushed Off Further Questioning On Whether Trump Should Be Encouraged To Do So.

‘It’s Always Up To Every Individual To Do Whatever They Want,’ Scott Replied.

Asked If He, As The Head Of The National Republican Senatorial Committee, Wanted Trump To Issue A ‘Strong Message’ Against The Invasion, Scott Said: ‘Well, I Talked To President Trump. I Talked To Republicans All Over The Country. We’re All Focused On Making Sure We Get The Senate Back.’