Liz Cheney Calls Vladimir Putin a 'Thug' but Claims Democrats, Not Trump, Are Helping Russia

Democrats in the House are aiding Russia by advocating for the preservation of key international arms treaties, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a Friday interview.

Speaking with reporters from PBS, Cheney argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a "thug" but that President Donald Trump is implementing the right policies towards him.

"I mean, look, I think Vladimir Putin is a thug," said the Wyoming congresswoman. "I think the Russians have clear intentions. I think we've seen what their intentions are. I don't think he's going to change. That's my view. And I think that when you see the policy that this president has carried out, you know, its policy that I support and that we're doing the right thing and I wish the Democrats would walk the walk here instead of just talking the talk."

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) speaks on during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol, March 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. Twitter users on Sunday ridiculed Cheney for saying that former FBI official Peter Strzok and attorney Lisa Page may have committed "treason." Drew Angerer/Getty Images

When pressed about bipartisan sanctions that the Democrats helped passed against Russia, Cheney argued that Democrats are aiding Russia by arguing for policies that would "tie America's hands."

"I mean at the end of the day, we know the Russians are modernizing their nuclear forces. We know the Russians just recently within the last 10 days or so — the Defense Intelligence Agency has made public analysis that shows we know the Russians are testing in ways that are above what they've agreed to in terms of their test ban treaty obligations," Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said.

"So we know that the Russians are taking huge steps to expand their nuclear arsenal to modernize and for the Democrats in the House of Representatives on the Armed Services Committee to tie America's hands against that backdrop, can only be interpreted as helping the Russians," she claimed. "So I'm really not so sympathetic when I hear them out there talking about how much they think that the Trump administration is helping Russia. When I see the evidence firsthand in our committees."

Officials in Washington recently accused Russia of violating the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty by carrying out low-yield nuclear tests in the arctic region. The treaty bans all nuclear explosions in all environments. Russia has vehemently denied the claims and said the accusations are being used as an excuse for Washington to abandon the treaty.

The Trump administration has already abandoned the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), claiming that the U.S. would not continue to honor the agreement because Russia is systematically violating its provisions.

Democrats, together with many of Washington's international allies, agree that Moscow is breaking the provisions of the INF Treaty, which bans all ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of about 300 to 3,500 miles. But they have argued that the U.S. should remain in the agreement in order to pressure Moscow to once again come into compliance.