Pelosi: Putin probably 'richest man in the world because of his exploitation of his own people'

Pelosi says 'tyrant' Putin doesn't 'want the Russian people to see what democracy looks like'

Updated: February 23, 2022 - 4:08pm

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California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday the sanctions on Russia will continue to increase the longer Russian leader Vladimir Putin's aggression toward Ukraine continues.

"The sanctions are going to just continue to increase and will have an ultimately crippling impact on many sectors of the Russian economy. We have to make sure those costs continue and that the Russian people see the costs of their dictator's aggression," said Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Pelosi, referring to Putin as a "tyrant," said the effects of the current sanctions against Russia haven't been felt yet.

"You haven't seen the depth of these sanctions yet," she said at a news conference. "Putin is probably the richest man in the world. He has these palatial residences; that's really what got people in trouble in Russia because they showed the arrogance and the wealth with which he lived."

Pelosi also said the Ukrainian people love democracy and they do not want to live under Putin.

"He doesn't want the Russian people to see what democracy looks like," the California Democrat said. "Therefore, he wants to bring them [Ukrainians] under his domain," she said. "Follow the money in this and that's what the sanctions are about."

She also said the sanctions will help reveal the lavish lives of Russia's leaders.

"The Russian people have to see how they have been exploited by their own government," Pelosi said. "People have to know the truth."

She also said Putin is an expert at "misrepresentation." 

"This is a very evil move," Pelosi said. "He's a KGB guy who happens to probably be the richest man in the world because of his exploitation of his own people that he doesn't want them to know about."

Pelosi applauded Biden's handling of Russia's aggression toward Ukraine.

Republican leaders were critical of Biden, arguing that he has not taken strong enough action against Putin.

“Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a renewed invasion of Ukraine is reprehensible. Sadly, President Biden consistently chose appeasement and his tough talk on Russia was never followed by strong action," said House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul. "Lethal aid was slow-walked, anti-air and anti-ship capabilities were never directly provided, pre-invasion sanctions proportionate to the aggression Putin had already committed were never imposed, and sanctions on Nord Stream 2 were waived."

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