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Has Obama Given Up on Crimea? What One Top GOP Rep. Says the President Told Him

“Yeah, that’s gone.”

President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. In a major reversal, Obama ordered the United States into a broad military campaign to “degrade and ultimately destroy” militants in two volatile Middle East nations, authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, as well as an expansion of strikes in Iraq. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool) AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool\n

President BarackObama touted American leadership on several fronts during his primetime speech Wednesday, including with Russia.

President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. In a major reversal, Obama ordered the United States into a broad military campaign to “degrade and ultimately destroy” militants in two volatile Middle East nations, authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, as well as an expansion of strikes in Iraq. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool) AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.  (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)

“It is America that has rallied the world against Russian aggression, and in support of the Ukrainian peoples’ right to determine their own destiny,” Obama said in a speech that was primarily about combatting the Islamic State.

But several weeks ago, Obama told lawmakers that Crimea – the Ukrainian territory that Russia claims to have annexed, is “gone,” said Rep. Buck McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

“I was in a meeting in the White House a few weeks ago, and the president was giving us a synopsis of the problems around the world, and I said, 'You didn’t mention Crimea. Is that just gone?” McKeon (R-Calif.) said during remarks Thursday at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, the Washington Examiner reported.

“Yeah, that’s gone,” Obama responded, according to McKeon.

In a written statement Thursday, Obama announced additional sanctions on Russia's financial, energy and defense sectors.

"These measures will increase Russia’s political isolation as well as the economic costs to Russia, especially in areas of importance to President Putin and those close to him," Obama said. "We are implementing these new measures in light of Russia’s actions to further destabilize Ukraine over the last month, including through the presence of heavily armed Russian forces in eastern Ukraine."

The White House did not immediately respond to an inquiry from TheBlaze about McKeon's comments.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's government moved to annex Crimea as part of Russia and has since increased aggressive actions by backing the Russian separatist in other parts of Ukraine.

McKeon told the audience Thursday that he was surprised Obama would event mention Ukraine as a foreign policy success. This comes despite economic sanctions against Russia by the United States and European allies.

“I don’t think that’s a good example of American leadership,” McKeon said.

McKeon did not say when the meeting was, but according to the White House schedule, he was among five House members and nine senators to meet with Obama on July 31, all party leaders, chairman and ranking members of relevant committees dealing with national security. According to the White House, the meeting was to consult members “about ongoing U.S. efforts to respond to the conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, Gaza, Syria, and other pressing issues.”

(H/T: Washington Examiner)

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