Donald Trump Jr. has reacted to Vladimir Zelensky’s trip to Washington by mocking the Ukrainian president for constantly seeking handouts from Washington and other Western governments.
“Zelensky is basically an ungrateful international welfare queen,” the former US president’s oldest son said on Wednesday in a Twitter post. He was reacting to reports that the Ukrainian leader will demand even more aid, even as Congress prepares to approve an additional $45 billion in economic and military assistance to Kiev.
The latest proposed aid package, which is 22% larger than the $37 billion requested by President Joe Biden, would bring the total value of weaponry and cash that US lawmakers have approved for Ukraine in 2022 to about $100 billion.
Nevertheless, Zelensky has frequently complained that Western allies aren’t doing enough to provide for Ukraine’s needs to battle Russia. Asked last April about military assistance from Washington, he said, “There will never be enough. Enough isn’t possible.”
Before departing Kiev for the US, he reportedly said of the West, “We are grateful for their support, but it is not enough. It is a hint – it is not enough.”
US congressional support for Ukraine aid has been largely bipartisan, but Republicans have been increasingly critical of the scale of the spending and the lack of oversight to prevent fraud. Earlier this month, the House of Representatives narrowly rejected a bill that called for an audit of Washington’s economic and military assistance to Kiev.
Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who spearheaded the audit bill, spoke out against Zelensky’s Washington visit. She referred to the Ukrainian leader as the US’ “shadow president,” saying he would explain to Congress “why he needs billions of American’s taxpayer dollars for the 51st state, Ukraine.”
“This is absurd. Put America first,” she added.
Speculation that Republicans will decrease the aid to Ukraine after winning control of the House in last month’s midterm elections may be unfounded, however.
“Providing assistance for Ukrainians to defeat the Russians is the number one priority for the US right now according to most Republicans,” US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said on Tuesday.