Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) slammed Douglas Macgregor, describing him as part of the ‘Putin wing of the GOP’ after he said Russian forces had initially been ‘too soft’ in Ukraine and he described the president Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky as a “puppet.”
In an interview on Fox Business on Friday, Macgregor — a retired U.S. Army colonel who served under former President Donald Trump as a senior adviser to acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller — also said that he “saw nothing heroic” about Zelensky.
Cheney berated Macgregor in a tweet on Saturday.
“Douglas MacGregor, Trump Appointed Ambassador to Germany; Trump Appointed as Senior Defense Adviser, Says Russian Forces Have Been ‘Too Soft’ and ‘I See Nothing Heroic’ About Zelensky” , wrote Cheney. “It’s the Putin wing of the GOP.”
Cheney’s office and Macgregor have been contacted for comment.
Cheney’s comment came after former Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that there was “no place” in the GOP for those who used positive language to describe Russian President Vladimir Putin to the middle of his invasion of Ukraine.
“There’s no place in this party for Putin apologists. There’s only room for champions of freedom,” Pence said, days after Donald Trump described Putin as “great ” and “very wise”.
In his interview, Macgregor told host Stuart Varney: “I think the Russian forces the first five days were frankly too soft. They’ve now fixed that. So I would say another ten days, it should be completely over .”
Macgregor went on to say that the war could have “ended a few days ago” if Zelensky had acquiesced in what Russia wanted.
“The Russians have made it clear what they want is a neutral Ukraine. It could have ended a few days ago if he had accepted that,” he said.
After Varney remarked that it appeared Macgregor didn’t agree with Zelensky’s position, he replied, “Oh, I think Zelensky is a puppet and putting a lot of his own people at risk. useless.”
Macgregor then laughed when Varney was asked if he thought Zelensky was a hero. Many praised the Ukrainian leader for staying in Kyiv despite warnings that he was the target of assassination.
“Isn’t he a hero?” Varney said. “I mean he stands up for himself and his own people. Don’t you think he’s a hero?”
“No, I don’t. I don’t see anything heroic about this man,” Macgregor said. “And I think the most heroic thing he can do right now is come to terms with reality. Neutralize Ukraine. That’s not a bad thing. A neutral Ukraine would be good for us as well as for Russia. It would create the buffer that both sides frankly want but he’s being told, I think, to hold on and try to drag this out, which is tragic for people who have to go through this.”
“I am inclined to disagree with you, Colonel,” Varney said.
This interview came after Macgregor was criticized for saying in another Fox interview that the United States should not provide military aid to Ukraine and that Russian President Vladimir Putin should be allowed to seize of certain parts of the country.
Macgregor also said Putin had no intention of pushing west, prompting Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin to fact-check Macgregor and say he looked “like an apologist for Putin”.
“There were so many distortions in what he just said, and talking about the West and NATO vilifying Putin and sounding like a Putin apologist,” Griffin said. “I don’t think anyone I’ve spoken to here at the Pentagon or anywhere else in western intelligence thinks they know how far Putin wants to go.”