The Conservative Political Action Conference has deleted and backtracked on a Friday tweet that adopted pro-Russia rhetoric, amid the Kremlin's annexation of Ukrainian territories.
"We must oppose Putin, but American taxpayers should not be shouldering the vast majority of the cost," CPAC's Twitter account posted Saturday after deleting the original tweet. The original tweet remained online due to a "massive time zone difference," as CPAC is currently hosting a conference in Australia, the tweet said.
The original tweet read:
"Vladimir Putin announces the annexation of 4 Ukrainian-occupied territories. Biden and the Dems continue to send Ukraine billions of taxpayer dollars. Meanwhile, we are under attack at our southern border. When will Democrats put #AmericaFirst and end the gift-giving to Ukraine?"
The tweet also featured an image of a Russian flag and described the annexation as "official" in an accompanying image that listed the territories.
The reference to "Ukrainian-occupied territories" seemingly suggested that the Russians — rather than the Ukrainians — had the rightful claim to the areas Russia annexed. The United States has condemned Russia's recent annexation attempts as illegal.
Russia held referendums last week to annex Ukrainian territory, which President Joe Biden called fraudulent and a sham. A group of nine European countries that were either once part of the Soviet Union or part of the Soviet bloc condemned the annexations Sunday.
CPAC, a conservative organization, hosted Viktor Orbán, the pro-Russia, hard-right Hungarian prime minister, at a conference this summer.