Rex Tillerson’s Texas Pal Ted Cruz Also Refuses to Admit Vladimir Putin is a ‘War Criminal’


We know that Rick Perry had an impressive run on Dancing With The Stars, but who knew that Ted Cruz was such a good dancer when it comes to facing tough questions too?

OK, I’m kidding — we ALL know the Texas Senator has a natural talent to twist words, and his skills were on full display on Morning Joe Thursday, bobbing and weaving the same questions about the Russian president that Rex Tillerson faced in his confirmation hearing yesterday.

Tillerson, who Cruz praised as being his Lone Star State compatriot at the start of the hit, also earned love from Cruz during the hearing this week who touted the Secretary of State Designee’s “long substantive list of qualifications, achievements, and international relationships.” But during the hearing, Tillerson repeatedly refused to call Vladimir Putin a war criminal, despite the incessant prodding from Florida senator Marco Rubio.

Willie Geist on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Thursday pressed the Texas Senator on the topic directly, asking, “Do you agree with Senator Graham and Senator Rubio yesterday that Vladimir Putin is, in fact, a war criminal?”

“Look I’ve said many, many times: I think Putin is a KGB thug,” replied Cruz, who furthered that Putin “committed an act of war” through his Ukraine invasion and aggressive military policies on the Baltic border.

“But has President Putin committed war crimes?” he faced as a follow up, resulting in the famous Ted Tango dance maneuver.

“Look, he has committed acts of war,” Cruz further said carefully obfuscating. “A ‘war crime’ is a technical matter that you adjudicate under the laws of war. But he’s a thug and he’s committed acts of war, I’m not at all hesitant to say so.”

When Tillerson was grilled during his hearing Wednesday, he replied, “Those are very, very serious charges to make, and I would want to have much more information before reaching that conclusion. I am sure there is a body of record in the classified realm. I would want to be fully informed before advising the president.”

Rubio fired back defiantly, “What’s happening in Aleppo is in the public domain, the pictures are there… it should not be hard to say that Vladimir Putin’s military has conducted war crimes in Aleppo.” Cruz’s evasion even earned a well-placed ribbing from Graham before they changed the line of questioning.

Watch above via MSNBC.

[image via screengrab]

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