Robert F. Kennedy Jr. debated Fox News host Sean Hannity during a town hall event Tuesday about the United States’ role in the Russia-Ukraine war, with the 2024 presidential candidate claiming that the U.S. had been “pushing” Ukraine into the war.
Kennedy Jr., who has made similar comments placing some fault on the U.S. for the current situation, was asked if he trusted Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Do I trust Putin? No,” Kennedy Jr. said.
“Because of our pushing the Ukraine into the war—” he added shortly after, before Hannity sought clarification.
“We pushed them into it or did Putin invade?” the Fox host asked.
“Well, let me answer your question,” replied Kennedy Jr., who then accused the U.S. of sabotaging the Minsk agreements in 2014 and 2015, which aimed to end the Donbas war yet largely failed to stop the fighting between Russian separatists and Ukraine’s armed forces.
“Putin, in good faith, began withdrawing troops from the Ukraine. What happened? We sent Boris Johnson over there to torpedo it because we don’t want peace. We want the war with Russia,” he argued, drawing applause from the audience.
Johnson visited Kyiv at the beginning of February 2022 for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, just weeks before Putin began his invasion. Johnson noted at the time that there were more than 100,000 Russian troops stationed at Ukraine’s border, warning Putin that Britain was armed with sanctions “the moment the first Russian toe cap crosses further into Ukrainian territory.”
During the town hall, Hannity followed up by asking why Kennedy Jr. is “blaming” the U.S.
Kennedy Jr. claimed that the expansion of NATO after the fall of the Soviet Union was an example of the U.S. deliberately bringing out the conditions that ultimately led to the war.
Minutes later, Kennedy Jr., whose candidacy has been praised by a who’s who of right-wing provocateurs like Tucker Carlson, Roger Stone, Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn and Charlie Kirk, dismissed the idea that Russia would lose the war it started.
“It would be like us losing a war to Mexico,” he said. “They are not going to lose the war.”