ICYMI: Bennet Discusses His RELIEF for Ukraine Act with John King on CNN

Bipartisan Legislation Would Direct Funds from Seized Russian Assets to Support Ukraine


Washington, D.C. Last week, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined John King on CNN to discuss his bipartisan Repurposing Elite Luxuries Into Emergency Funds (RELIEF) for Ukraine Act, legislation he introduced with U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to require the Department of Justice (DOJ) to direct any funds resulting from the disposal of seized Russian assets to support Ukrainian refugees and reconstruction. Bennet also discussed Putin’s standing in Russia, the evolving nature of Putin’s invasion, and how democracies across the world have come together to support Ukraine.

Bennet on his RELIEF for Ukraine Act:

“This is going to take a long time. And unfortunately, the Ukrainian people who are suffering… the daily nightmare of this invasion by Putin… are going to need our support to recover. And when that time comes, to me and Rob Portman, my Republican colleague from Ohio, it seems very appropriate that the things that were seized from Putin and his billionaires, the value of that ought to go to the Ukrainian people for reconstruction.”

Bennet on the world coming together to support Ukraine:

“I'm very happy that we've seen democracies — frankly, the free world — come together in the wake of Putin's aggression, and…President Zelensky reminds us what is at stake. He says they're fighting to live their lives the way we live our lives. The world should live in peace…they're fighting for freedom of speech, the right to self determination, freedom of the press, for that matter. And those are enduring values. And we need to be with them through this, not just through this war, but on the other end.”

Bennet on the evolving nature of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine:

“..We need to make sure that we are giving the maximum assistance to the Ukrainian people and to the Ukrainian military. And at the same time, we don't want to inadvertently break up the coalition that got us to this incredible point, or inadvertently set off World War III. This is a delicate, delicate balancing act. But things should not be etched in stone and we shouldn't leave things off the table. This is an evolving situation every single day.”

Bennet on Putin’s standing in Russia: 

“...His political standing at home right now is unchanged. It would be dishonest of me to say anything else. But that could change. As the economic sanctions bite, as people begin to realize in Russia what actually has happened here, which is in their name, in the Russian people's name, Vladimir Putin has invaded a peaceful democracy, that could change.

“But it has been amazing to see how good the intelligence has been leading up to this invasion of Putin. And one of the things that was very clear was that he was making massive miscalculations because of the totalitarian nature of his society and his leadership. He miscalculated massively on the quality of his own army, massively on what the Ukrainian resistance would look like, and massively on the way the rest of the world would come together and stand united and isolate Putin and Russia as a result of this.”

Watch the full interview HERE