Matt Gaetz thinks NATO could be better off with Russia, instead of Ukraine, as a member.
"Why not extend NATO to Russia and make it an anti-China alliance?" Gaetz told Newsmax.
Gaetz recently slammed the Biden administration's decision to transfer cluster bombs to Ukraine.
"Why would you pick Ukraine? Why not extend NATO to Russia and make it an anti-China alliance?" the Florida Republican told Newsmax on Tuesday.
"Are we really thinking that we're more afraid of the broke-down tanks from Russia than the fact that China is building a secret military base on the island of Cuba, 90 miles away from the United States?" Gaetz added.
His comments came amid an eventful NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where the alliance's member countries stopped short of extending an invitation to Ukraine to join it.
The State Department referred Insider to comments given by spokesperson Matthew Miller during his press briefings on Tuesday and Wednesday. During the press briefing on Tuesday, Miller said the alliance "has made clear that Ukraine will become a member of NATO."
"Over the past several years, Ukraine has become increasingly interoperable and politically integrated with the Alliance and has made substantial progress on its reform path," Miller said.
This is not the first time Gaetz has expressed his disapproval of US support for Ukraine amidst the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
On February 9, Gaetz introduced a House resolution calling on the US to "end its military and financial aid to Ukraine." The resolution also urged combatants to "reach a peace agreement."
More recently, Gaetz slammed the Biden administration's decision to transfer cluster munitions to Ukraine. The Florida Republican said in a tweet dated July 10 that he is co-sponsoring a measure to block the transfer.
"These cluster bombs will not end the war in Ukraine and will not build a more stable country," Gaetz wrote in his tweet.
And Gaetz is not the only Republican lawmaker who is against US involvement in the Ukraine war. Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who supported Gaetz's resolution in February, introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would direct the "President to withdraw the US from NATO."
"They are not a reliable partner whose defense spending should be paid for by American citizens," Greene said on Tuesday while introducing her amendment.
"Western European countries could and should be stepping up their financial contributions to ensure the security of NATO. Instead, they are entirely beholden to Russia, and the US taxpayers expected to foot the bill," Greene said.
Representatives for Gaetz did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.
Editor's note: July 14, 2023 — This story has been updated with responses from the State Department.
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