Congressman Derrick Van Orden says he may get a T-shirt made to celebrate his being banned from Russia.
Van Orden, the Republican congressman from western Wisconsin, is among 500 Americans on the latest list of people banned from Russia.
“I think it’s great that Vladimir Putin and his gang of thugs have identified the fact that I don’t believe this naked, international aggression should go unchecked,” Van Orden told The Center Square on Wednesday.
Van Orden has been a vocal opponent of the war in Ukraine.
“What I said about Putin is correct. That he has cable television,” Van Orden explained. “One of the reasons that he invaded Ukraine is that he saw President Biden abandon thousands of American citizens and our allies to terrorists in Afghanistan. I believe that emboldened Putin to invade Ukraine.”
Russia released a new list last Friday of 500 Americans who have been banned from the country for life.
In addition to Van Orden, the list includes former President Obama, former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman, several U.S. senators, and entertainers Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers.
“It is interesting that President Obama and I wound up on the same list,” Van Orden explained. “We didn’t really agree with a lot of stuff, politically. But it’s nice to see that this really, truly is a bipartisan issue. That Russia must be stopped from what they are doing.”
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that “It is high time for Washington to learn that not a single hostile attack against Russia will go without a strong reaction.”
Van Orden said he’s not worried about the ban, because he wasn’t planning on going to Russia anytime soon anyway.