U.S. Sen. Angus King on Sunday compared Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler as part of a public relations campaign to support continued American spending on the war in Ukraine.
“Hitler could have been stopped,” King said on Fox News Sunday. “He wasn’t. 55 million people died.”
King’s comments come as the newly elected majority in the House of Representatives pushes for a federal audit of the more than $90 billion in military and humanitarian aid the U.S. has provided to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in February.
The White House has been scrambling to prepare for the potential audits, having previously inspected just 10 percent of arms shipments to the country, according to a story in the Washington Post. According to that story, the State Department and the Pentagon have ratcheted up inspections and training for Ukrainian officials, part of an effort to make sure U.S.-provided weapons aren’t ending up in the wrong hands.
King, a self-described “independent” who has always caucused with and voted with Democrats, has reliably supported President Joe Biden’s requests for aid to Ukraine.
“Despots want to expand. Putin has told us who he is,” he said. “Maya Angelou says if someone tells us who they are you should believe them. He wants to re-establish the Soviet empire.”
“He’s gotta be stopped,” he said. “It’s in the national interest to stop him.”
“The only thing more expensive than helping Ukraine is a world war,” he said.
Although King stopped short of calling for boots on the ground in Europe, his analogy suggests that the moral reason for deploying the U.S. military to confront Russian troops in Europe would be the same.