WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of progressive Democrats in Congress said Tuesday it had retracted a letter to the White House urging President Joe Biden to engage in direct diplomatic talks with Russia after it triggered an uproar among Democrats and raised questions about the strength of the party’s support for Ukraine.
In a statement, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the chair of the Progressive Caucus, said the caucus was withdrawing the letter it sent less than 24 hours prior. It was signed by 30 members of the party’s liberal flank.
“The letter was drafted several months ago, but unfortunately was released by staff without vetting,” the Washington Democrat wrote in a statement. As chair of the caucus, Jayapal said she took responsibility for this.
So what Jayapal is saying is:
- This wasn’t a final version of the letter. [What would she have changed?]
- It was mistakenly released by a staffer. [Why did it take 24 hours for Jayapal to withdraw it?]
- She takes responsibility. [Jayapal is an idiot.]
On the other hand, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) has backbone:
“I have voted for arms to Ukraine and will continue to support providing arms to Ukraine to stand up against Putin’s brutal aggression.
“At the same time, it’s my obligation to make sure we are mitigating the risk of nuclear war, that we are making sure that the conflict doesn’t escalate and that we are working toward a negotiated settlement that will be a just peace. That is the framework of the letter.”