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DeSantis calls Putin a 'war criminal'

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "war criminal" during an interview with Piers Morgan.

The Sunshine State governor said he believes Putin has "grand ambitions" and is "hostile" toward America but lacks the "conventional capability to realize his ambitions." DeSantis said that in the past, he and others have "overestimated" Putin's "conventional capability."

The U.S. has spent billions to aid Ukraine as that nation has been striving to defend itself against a brutal Russian invasion.

"While the U.S. has many vital national interests – securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party – becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them," DeSantis has previously said in a statement to Fox News Channel's Tucker Carlson.

"Without question, peace should be the objective. The U.S. should not provide assistance that could require the deployment of American troops or enable Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders. F-16s and long-range missiles should therefore be off the table. These moves would risk explicitly drawing the United States into the conflict and drawing us closer to a hot war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers. That risk is unacceptable," he said in the statement.

DeSantis, who has not announced a White House bid, told Morgan that he believes he could defeat President Joe Biden.

If DeSantis does opt to mount a presidential run in the coming months, he will be challenging former President Donald Trump during the GOP primary.

In a Truth Social post on Wednesday, Trump declared, "We don't want Ron as our President!"

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