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Sen. McConnell to President Biden: 'Ratchet the sanctions all the way up'

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Posted at 7:44 AM, Feb 25, 2022

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (LEX 18) — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is criticizing President Biden for what McConnell says is a missed chance to stop Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"My advice to the president both publicly and privately is ratchet the sanctions all the way up, all the way up as far as you can," said McConnell. "Don’t hold anything back. Every single available tough sanction should be deployed, and should be deployed now,”

In a statement Thursday afternoon, McConnell said aggressive sanctions should have been put in place before the attack. He says "deterrence after the fact is not deterrence at all."

"The President should have exercised his extensive authorities to impose certain tough sanctions early enough to actually deter invasion and weaken Russia. We should have ensured that the pipeline of lethal aid to Ukraine was flowing far sooner. And we should have sent more reinforcements to support NATO’s eastern flank allies earlier."

McConnell is one of four congressional leaders who had a personal briefing from Biden Thursday afternoon.

The president also spoke with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.