Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) pushed back on a Russian lawmaker’s call for his abduction and imprisonment over comments the Democrat made about the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
“We should be looking for that bud, and if he travels anywhere–grab him like Bout and bring him over here,” politician Aleksei Zhuravlyov told Russia’s “60 Minutes.”
The Russian lawmaker was referring to notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was extradited from Thailand to the U.S. in 2010 after a sting operation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency two years earlier. Zhuravlyov specified that Gallego should be snatched from wherever he’s at, brought to Russia and forced to explain “whom he wanted to kill.” “This is how we should be acting... Spend 25 years in prison and then when you get out—“IF” you get out—you can tell us whom you wanted to kill,” said Zhuravlyov. (The Daily Beast)
The lawmaker and host had been discussing Gallego's advice to the Biden administration on how to deal with Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine. While in Kyiv, Gallego told CNN during an interview that Russian President Vladimir Putin might only be checked by a strong military response.
Gallego said that Ukraine should be provided with more advanced weaponry that “will actually put a toll on the Russian troop movements and, you know, unfortunately that means we have to kill some Russians.” He added that Russians “only understand pure power, and we have to give the Ukrainian army and special forces the ability to do that.”
While it was clear that Rep. Gallego was referring to the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine—in the event the Kremlin resorts to further escalation—his words sparked fury in Moscow. (The Daily Beast)
Gallego, a Marine Corps combat veteran, reacted to the threat on Twitter.
“F*** around and find out,” the lawmaker said, sharing The Daily Beast report.
His attitude was roundly praised on Twitter from those on both sides of the political aisle. "The only appropriate response to threats from Russia," one user commented. "And this is why we need more, if not all, politicians to be service members," another said.