Watch: Ramaswamy, FNC’s Kilmeade Go Back and Forth on Ukraine, Russia

Thursday on FNC’s “Fox & Friends,” 2024 Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy and Fox News co-host Brian Kilmeade had a tense back-and-forth over how the United States should handle Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Kilmeade took issue with Ramaswamy’s suggestion that ceding Ukrainian territory to Russia would prevent a Russian-Chinese alliance later down the road.

Partial transcript as follows:

KILMEADE: Yes. Unfortunately, we didn’t know how — I have to be to question and ask him any questions, but we — but the problem. I just like to know where there’s policy, it’s just ridiculous on Russia and Ukraine.

He says, tell Russia basically they can have Ukraine if they promise not to have an alliance with China. I mean, if there’s a — (CROSSTALK)

DOOCY: Can you hear us now?

RAMASWAMY: I can hear.

KILMEADE: Hey, Vivek. Vivek, are you comfortable —

RAMASWAMY: I can hear you.

KILMEADE: — are you comfortable with Russia taking as much as Ukraine as they want? Are you comfortable pulling all our aid out? And do you really believe that Vladimir Putin will agree not to have an alliance with China?

RAMASWAMY: I think we have to be play hard ball there and make a hard deal that requires any reneging on that deal to have major consequences.

KILMEADE: Like what? Like sanctions that we have right now?

RAMASWAMY: Well, look, I think that we have to be able to have real consequences, maximum pressure campaign. We have sanctions. We don’t have a maximum pressure campaign. And I can go into the details of that and I have at the Nixon Library and elsewhere.

But what I’m saying, Brian, is the clear principles are this war doesn’t advance U.S. interests.

KILMEADE: Yes, it does. If you give up Eastern Europe — if you give up Eastern Europe would be a World War.


RAMASWAMY: If I may interrupt your – if I may ask you a question.

KILMEADE: Right. But I’m just going to answer you. It’s in our interest. (CROSSTALK)

RAMASWAMY: Detailed the contours of a deal. I think it is not in our interest to strengthen the Russia-China alliance. And I think our policy right now —

KILMEADE: It’s going to be done anyway.

RAMASWAMY: — is driving Russia further into China’s arms.

KILMEADE: It’s going to be done anyway.

RAMASWAMY: I disagree with you, Brian. I respectfully disagree with you on that.

KILMEADE: You cannot keep Russia from China.

RAMASWAMY: I think Russia is going — I think the answer is, we are driving Russia into China’s hands. There are kinks in the armor of that relationship.

Look at Russia sending weapons to India and to Vietnam after other meetings they have had. This is our opportunity. Nixon did this in 1972. And, Brian, respectfully, people like you said the same thing that Nixon couldn’t do it.

Well, it takes an outsider, I was skeptical of that establishment that’s going to be me.

KILMEADE: I was seven years old.


KILMEADE: Vivek, are you comfortable giving up Eastern Europe? Because you know they are already taking —

RAMASWAMY: (inaudible)

KILMEADE: — already making moves on the Baltic already. They’re taking more and more pieces of Georgia.

RAMASWAMY: I’ll tell you what I’m not comfortable with.

KILMEADE: And what we have done is sit there and send blankets and MREs and we got an invasion. So, what is going to be next?

RAMASWAMY: Because we have no idea how Ukraine has spent $200 billion of our money. We are just forking over more taxpayer money.

KILMEADE: Do you see how they fight?

RAMASWAMY: (CROSSTALK) and buy bigger house. That’s corrupt and I’m not going to stand for that.

KILMEADE: Ukrainians are probably the best fighters in the world.

RAMASWAMY: Ukraine is not some democracy. (CROSSTALK)

KILMEADE: Ukraine is fighting for their sovereignty and they were invaded. They were invaded. (CROSSTALK)

RAMASWAMY: Ukraine has actually assassinated a former presidential candidate in 2019.

KILMEADE: It just makes you sound so naive, so naive.

RAMASWAMY: But the media doesn’t like to report that.

KILMEADE: So naive. You give up Ukraine and then a few years you’ll be critisizing Joe Biden for giving up Ukraine.

RAMASWAMY: I respectfully — you know, we can respectfully (AUDIO GAP) if I call Nikki Haley naive, you guys would be having a conniption (AUDIO GAP) about that. But you want to call me naive. I actually understand what the heck I’m talking about here.


RAMASWAMY: Nixon did this in ’72. We can actually — we can actually split up the Russia, China alliance advance American interest and protect our own homeland.

KILMEADE: And what happened, I think World War II is your better example.

RAMASWAMY: I think it is offensive.

KILMEADE: World War II is your better example.

RAMASWAMY: I think it is offensive.

KILMEADE: World War II is your better example. What is your diplomatic approach? And what is an act of war?

EARHARDT: Alright.

RAMASWAMY: If you could have split up Japan and Germany, then I do think that you actually have a good example —


RAMASWAMY: — of World War Two.

KILMEADE: You’re going to convince Hitler not to go with a fascist nation?

RAMASWAMY: And for the — I’m not talking about convincing anybody, Brian, but the fact of the matter is I think it is offensive that people would sooner use $200 billion of our resources to protect some other nation’s foreign border. That’s not a democracy. When in fact, we’re not going to do that effectively here on our own border.

KILMEADE: You can do both. It’s not either.

RAMASWAMY: We’re doing neither.

KILMEADE: It’s neither. It’s either or.

RAMASWAMY: And that’s the fact of the matter. And I think this neo-con wisdom needs to be really —

KILMEADE: Well, let’s forget neo-con wisdom. No one buys into that. Just give up Eastern Europe. Just give up Eastern Europe. Why not?

RAMASWAMY: Iraq and Afghanistan. Look at those results. The same people who considered Iraq and Afghanistan are trying to do this again in Ukraine. And it’s already been a disaster. Time for a neo-con wisdom (CROSSTALK)

KILMEADE: Not one soldier is there. Not one American soldier is there.

RAMASWAMY: Something they have done. You don’t want to have that. Well, Lloyd Austin just threatened earlier this week that we are going to send our troops unless we pass that aid package actually.

So, Brian, you mark my words, listen to Lloyd Austin who’s advancing the same policies. (CROSSTALK)

KILMEADE: He’s saying he’s going to send troops if they move to a NATO nation, not to Ukraine. Pay attention.

RAMASWAMY: He said — he expressly said that what’s going to require sending troops if we don’t actually pass the Ukraine Aid. So I think that this is —

KILMEADE: All right. We have to go. He said if they take a NATO nation.

RAMASWAMY: — a bone headed foreign policy and I think that the hard answer is that we need to protect Americans. That’s the answer.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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