GOP Rep: U.S. Must Send a Message to Every ‘Two-Bit Tyrant’ Like Putin

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R., Wis.) told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday that he did not agree with the Trump administration on everything, but he approved of the "concrete action" that was being achieved by counterterrorism efforts.

Mitchell said President Donald Trump was not taking a hard line against Russia, unlike Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Gallagher said Mitchell should "dig beyond the rhetoric."

"I think any suggestion that we could form some sort of grand bargain with Russia when it comes to counterterrorism issues is an illusion," he said. "We should be wary of it and shouldn't go down that road."

"When it comes to what [the Trump administration has] done, in terms of actually striking in Syria—a message to the Russians and not just the Assad regime, and something the previous administration did not have the courage to do—that's a concrete action," Gallagher continued.

Gallagher expressed the urgent need to rebuild and modernize the U.S. military in order to face various adversaries, competitors, and to "counter Russian aggression" in the Middle East and around the world.

"Then we can send a signal to every two-bit tyrant and dictator and terrorist group and thug like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that wants to challenge us that we're not going to stand by and let it happen," Gallagher said.