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GOP lawmaker says Biden should call in Trump to end Ukraine war

Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas, a critic of U.S. spending in Ukraine, said former President Donald Trump could end the conflict with one phone call to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Rep. Troy Nehls attends the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, at a Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing in Washington on Sept. 29.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images file

Rep. Troy Nehls, a vocal critic of U.S. military aid to Ukraine, said Thursday that President Joe Biden should call in his predecessor to end the conflict with Russia.

"Joe Biden, you need to call Donald Trump. Donald Trump will call Vladimir Putin and end this war," Nehls, R-Texas, said on Fox News. "We must stop this war, and Donald Trump can do it."

Nehls said he thought Putin, the Russian president, would respond to Trump because “he never went into Ukraine” when Trump was president.

The White House and a Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Nehls’ suggestion.

Nehls, a Trump ally who voted against certifying the 2020 election results from Arizona and Pennsylvania after the Jan. 6 riot, also derided the Biden administration's decision Wednesday to send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

Nehls, a former tank commander, said the Abrams is a "very powerful piece of equipment, but it requires an enormous amount of logistical support." He also complained that the U.S. has spent almost $100 billion supporting Ukraine while "there’s a crisis on every corner in this country."

Trump criticized the tank deal on his social media website, Truth Social, earlier Thursday, writing: "FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!"

Trump has offered conflicting thoughts about the situation in Ukraine. At times he has claimed credit for Ukraine's successes in defending itself against Russian troops, telling Fox Business in March it was succeeding "because of the weapons that I gave and that the Ukrainians used so well."

But just days before Russia invaded, Trump praised Putin as a "genius" for declaring part of Ukraine independent, adding that Russian forces would be peacekeepers.

As president, Trump signed off on military assistance to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia, but he was impeached after some of the money was withheld while he was simultaneously pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to open an investigation into Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

U.S. intelligence agencies found that Russian hackers and influence operations tried to help Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Trump has insisted there was "no collusion" between his campaign and Russia, and he called the Russia investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller a "hoax."