GOP Candidate Will Hurd Gets 'Frank' With Rivals Wanting To 'Kiss The Butt' Of Putin

GOP presidential candidate Will Hurd knocked Republican rivals who “want to kiss the butt” of Russian President Vladimir Putin in “frank” remarks to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

The former Texas congressman, who did not appear at the first Republican presidential debate, weighed in on Putin after Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was listed as a passenger aboard a jet that crashed and killed 10 people in Russia.

“A person has a one-in-11 million chance of dying in a plane crash. And now, I don’t have any of the intelligence or insights into what happened but considering that Prigozhin tried to create a mutiny two months ago, I don’t think this was luck,” said Hurd of the mercenary group head who led a brief rebellion in the country in June.

He went on to blame Putin — who characterized the Prigozhin-led rebellion as a “stab in the back” — for the crash before ripping fellow candidates prior to the debate on Wednesday.

“I think this was something that Vladimir Putin did on purpose and was trying to not only target [Prigozhin] but let everybody else know that he’s not going to play,” said Hurd.

“And unfortunately, though, this is one of the issues that I hope the candidates on the debate stage get asked about. Because unfortunately there’s too many of those candidates in the room who are willing to engage and — to be frank — want to kiss the butt of Vladimir Putin.”

He continued: “Vladimir Putin is a war criminal and his actions, and likely actions, today is just a further indication of that.”

Hurd, in earlier remarks on X (formerly Twitter), slammed the Russian president as “a murderous dictator.”

“Anyone who thinks America should be sucking up to him is dangerously unprepared to be President and a threat to our national security,” wrote Hurd.

Putin’s name made its way into the debate on several occasions Wednesday as candidates chimed in regarding aid for the war in Ukraine.

Vivek Ramaswamy argued for using U.S. military resources for security on the U.S.-Mexico border as he criticized “disastrous” protections against the Russian invasion.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, meanwhile, defended his recent visit to Kyiv as he brought up that GOP front-runner and former President Donald Trump once called Putin a “genius.”

“If we don’t stand up against this type of autocratic killing in the world, we will be next,” Christie warned.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haleylater went to bat for supporting “friends” to America like Ukraine and accused Putin of killing Prigozhin as she took aim at Ramaswamy.

“When I was at the U.N., the Russian ambassador suddenly died, this guy is a murderer and you are choosing a murderer over a pro-American country,” Haley said.