Updated 1:55 p.m. | Russia sanctioned nine top U.S. officials on Thursday, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker John A. Boehner, a retaliation after President Barack Obama announced a new round of sanctions targeting Russian officials over the annexation of Crimea.
Those sanctioned took their appearance on the list as a badge of honor.
Proud to be included on a list of those willing to stand against Putin’s aggression http://t.co/AL67mauKqq — Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) March 20, 2014
If standing up for #democracy & sovereignty in #Ukraine means I'm #SanctionedByPutin, I'll take it. — Sen. Robert Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) March 20, 2014
While I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to go on vacation with my family in Siberia this summer, I am honored to be on this list — Senator Dan Coats (@SenDanCoats) March 20, 2014
I'm proud to be sanctioned by Putin - I'll never cease my efforts & dedication to freedom & independence of #Ukraine, which includes #Crimea — John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) March 20, 2014
President Putin, it's one thing to pick on me, but I wouldn't mess with Mary. @SenLandrieu #SanctionedByPutin — Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) March 20, 2014After the tweets came the statements.
“I guess this means my spring break in Siberia is off, my Gazprom stock is lost, and my secret bank account in Moscow is frozen," McCain said, the second out of the gate to make the old "Siberia" joke. "Nonetheless, I will never cease my efforts on behalf of the freedom, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea.”
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., noted that she will be holding a hearing next week on natural gas exports.
“Being sanctioned by President Putin is a badge of honor. It will not stop me from using my power as chair of the Energy Committee to promote America as an energy superpower and help increase energy exports around the world. We must minimize Russia’s influence over Europe, the former Soviet states—especially Ukraine that has fought so long for freedom—and our allies. And it most certainly will not stop me from advocating for orphans in Russia and around the world," she said.
Being targeted by Putin surely doesn't hurt her tough reelection chances any either.
Menendez added a full statement too.
“President Putin’s military invasion and annexation of Crimea is brutal, totally unacceptable, and sadly returns us to a period of Cold War aggression and hostility. It doesn’t have to be this way, but if standing up for the Ukrainian people, their freedom, their hard earned democracy, and sovereignty means I’m sanctioned by Putin, so be it.”
The others on the list are White House aides Dan Pfeiffer, Benjamin Rhodes and Caroline Atkinson.