As Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine—the fledgling democratic nation that broke from the U.S.S.R. in 1991—far-right Congresswoman and GOP Conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York issued a statement.
Once considered a moderate, Stefanik became a GOP star with her full-throated defense of Trump amid his first impeachment inquiry in 2019, which centered around allegations that he pressured Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to open an investigation into the Bidens in order to secure congressionally approved military aid.
In her most recent statement on the Ukraine invasion, Stefanik slammed what she called President Joe Biden's "war through weakness" before even mentioning Vladimir Putin by name.
The statement appeared to blame Biden for the invasion, reading in part:
"After just one year of a weak, feckless, and unfit President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief, the world is less safe. Rather than peace through strength, we are witnessing Joe Biden's foreign policy of war through weakness. For the past year, our adversaries around the world have been assessing and measuring Joe Biden's leadership on the world stage, and he has abysmally failed on every metric."
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was born in Soviet-era Kyiv, Ukraine before immigrating to the U.S., where he would become the Director for European Affairs for the United States National Security Council. Vindman was one of the officials listening in on Trump's infamous call with President Zelensky and testified before Congress regarding Trump's pressure on Zelensky to investigate the Bidens.
Stefanik was one of the representatives to question Vindman at that hearing.
The two had a bitter reunion when Vindman brutally responded to Stefanik's statement.
Though he emphasized that Putin is responsible for the war, Vindman claimed Stefanik's embrace of Trump's election lies "suggested to Putin he can conduct this war" and that her actions "suggested that the U.S. was weak and distracted."
Social media users applauded Vindman's response.
Vindman's was far from the only objection.
Stefanik's comments come shortly after Trump praised Putin's strategy as "genius."