Capito says she continues to be strong supporter of Ukraine

Mar. 18—Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said she continues to be a strong supporter of Ukraine regardless of what some Republicans are saying, including former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Trump has already declared his candidacy for the GOP nomination to run for president in 2024 and DeSantis is expected to join the race.

At the recent CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), Trump said he would end the war in one day and emphasized he had always "got along very well with (Vladimir) Putin."

Earlier this week, DeSantis said it was not of "vital national interest" to get involved in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and called the invasion a "territorial dispute."

But Capito said during a virtual press briefing Thursday she is not on the same page with Trump and DeSantis on this issue.

"I think Gov. DeSantis was quoted as saying the dispute between Russia and Ukraine is a territorial dispute," she said. "I don't agree with that."

Capito said the war is a "much bigger issue."

"It hits right into Homeland Security and the security interests of our country," she said. "Ukraine is a sovereign democracy."

Capito said it is also a matter of dealing with Putin.

"We cannot let Putin win here because this won't stop," she said. "He will move on. He will move forward."

The Russian invasion is a worldwide issue.

Capito has supported Ukraine from the very beginning, emphasizing the point in the past that it is a far broader problem if Putin gets his way there, and she continues to do so.

"I believe we should keep supporting Ukraine because I think it is in the globe's interest to have freedom fighters join together whether it is NATO (North American Treaty Organization) or whether it's Ukraine and the United States to defeat these dictators that we see in Russia and in China," she said. "If we don't fill the void here, I think we are going to fill it down the road and our kids and grandchildren are going to fill it."

Capito said there is a division of opinion about the war.

"But I think, predominantly, people agree with the position I am taking and have voted that we will strongly support Ukraine and defeat Putin here because that is in our, in America's, best interest," she said.

That doesn't mean other questions about related issues are being ignored.

"There is a lot of disagreeing voices here on Capitol Hill," she said. "There is a lot of questions about the transparency of all the money and I think those are good questions to ask and I am asking them myself."

Capito also on Thursday discussed the GOP 2024 presidential nomination candidacy of Nikki Haley, former United Nations ambassador and former governor of South Carolina.

"I am happy to have Nikki Haley," she said of Haley's candidacy. "I hosted her several years ago in West Virginia ago. She is an outstanding public servant. She is a great fresh voice and she has a good perspective because of her service at the United Nations."

Capito said she is "not going to jump in and endorse anybody right now."

"But I think very favorably of Nikki Haley for sure."

— Contact Charles Boothe at

Contact Charles Boothe at