President Joe Biden gave Russia the upper hand a year ago by his actions on the first day of his presidency to stop the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and his other actions that stopped America's energy independence, Rep. James Comer said Monday on Newsmax.
"If you look at why are we as concerned as we are about Russia invading Ukraine, it's all about oil prices," the Kentucky Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report." "It's the same thing that happened to us with Iran and Iraq … we were concerned about when Iraq invaded Kuwait, what it would do to oil prices."
When there is an administration that has an energy policy that is as "bad as Biden's" or as "bad as Bill Clinton's was, it puts American energy at a competitive disadvantage," said Comer. "It helps our enemies. In the 1990s, our enemies were the Middle East. Now today, our enemy is Russia, the second-biggest oil producer in the world."
So the current threat "stems from oil prices," said Comer. "Joe Biden has put us in a disadvantage here because Vladimir Putin knows if oil prices go to $5 or $6 a gallon, it's going to cripple the American economy."
Meanwhile, Putin has "no fear whatsoever" of the United States, but still, Biden should not be offering him any kind of incentives to keep him from invading Ukraine, Comer said.
"Unfortunately, President Biden's playing from a hand of weakness here," Comer said. "It all started with the debacle in Afghanistan."
The Kremlin on Monday said there are no definite plans for a summit between Putin and Biden after French President Emmanuel Macron said the leaders agreed on a meeting in principle.
Comer on Monday also said he would not be surprised if claims are true that were made in a letter from U.S. Ambassador Bathsheba Nell Crocker to Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights to warn that Russia is planning killings, detentions, and kidnappings if it occupies Ukraine.
"Putin has a history of jailing and torturing his political enemies," said Comer. "He has a history of his political enemies simply disappearing. Vladimir Putin is a bad person."
But still, it's "disappointing" that the United States has to let France broker a meeting between Putin and Biden, said Comer.
"I hope that he's not trying to offer him any type of incentive from the taxpayers of the United States of America," said Comer of Biden. "We're not invading Ukraine because Putin still commits human rights and human rights abuses every day, and Russia still is involved in most of the cyberattacks that happened to American businesses and our government, of the United States every day. "
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