Republican Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker gave a disturbing interview with Fox News where he floated the possibility of a ground deployment and nuclear strike against Russia should the US engage in a conflict over Ukraine.
"I would not rule out military action. I think we start making a mistake when we take options off the table, so I would hope the president keeps that option on the table," said Wicker about a potential standoff with Russia to Fox News' Neil Cavuto on Tuesday.
Asked what military action against Russia would comprise, Wicker said it could mean "that we stand off with our ships in the Black Sea and we rain destruction on Russian military capability."
"I would not rule out American troops on the ground," the senator declared, adding that the US also shouldn't "rule out first use nuclear action" against Russia.
Wicker's comments received widespread condemnation, with critics calling them "insane" and "bloodthirsty."
Jon Wolfsthal - who served as Joe Biden's special advisor for nuclear security and as a senior director for arms control and nonproliferation on the US National Security Council - called Wicker's words "dangerous and irresponsible."
Republican Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger, however, backed Wicker's call for all cards to be on the table.
"Russia advances till they hit a brick wall. We can be the brick wall, or we can retreat from the Sudetenland and hope he doesn't intend to rebuild ALL the Soviet Union. History repeats itself but we always deny it's happening," Kinzinger declared.
Ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin's video-link talks with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday, the Biden administration has repeatedly accused Moscow of allegedly planning an invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin has rejected as "fake news."
"We still do not believe that President Putin has made a decision" to "further invade" Ukraine, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters after the talks, but emphasized that what "President Biden did today was lay out very clearly the consequences if he chooses to move."