Ukraine-Born Impeachment Witness Blasts GOP Rep. for Unhinged Statement Blaming Biden for Ukraine Invasion
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.
My statement on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 👇 pic.twitter.com/lRwLHcWYlc
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) February 24, 2022
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.
Putin is responsible for this war, but you deserve a great deal of responsibility for it. It is your vile attacks on our democracy, that suggested to Putin he can conduct this war. Your actions suggested that the U.S. was weak and distracted. #GOPownsthis https://t.co/1cXlBPskFI
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) February 24, 2022
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.
Thank you for your words of wisdom! Appreciate you! https://t.co/6ehwuDFG8Q
— Susan Pressler (Pro Democracy) (@susanlpressler) February 24, 2022
@EliseStefanik He is spot on! https://t.co/rb1aU7mxPQ
— Paul Hardy (@PabloDurissimo) February 24, 2022
Thank you for saying the absolute truth https://t.co/ttQQnzTeq0
— M Matt Frank (@dmmf7) February 24, 2022
Vindman's was far from the only objection.
In the face of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the number three Republican in the House puts out a statement that spends more time attacking the American president than Vladimir Putin. https://t.co/ah0wIccwM7
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) February 24, 2022
From the woman who made herself famous for her mendacity in opposing the impeachment of the guy who attempted to extort Ukraine by illegally withholding security assistance funds that Congress had appropriated for that country. https://t.co/rmyYDLrV53
— George Conway 🇺🇦 (@gtconway3d) February 24, 2022
I would be saying this even if Trump were POTUS:
Now is not the time for political bullshit. Americans have a long history of uniting during crises, and it’s incumbent on *all* of us to act like adults, rather than petulant, partisan jackasses.
Be better, @RepStefanik https://t.co/LfvvfKXOzT
— Angry Staffer (@Angry_Staffer) February 24, 2022
Minority Leader McCarthy did not go after the Biden administration in his statement on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
House GOP #3 spending more time going after Biden than Putin in hers: https://t.co/ODkeEAxVSk
— Sarah Ewall-Wice (@EwallWice) February 24, 2022
Two years ago these ghouls were praising Trump for nearly leaving NATO and now instead of attempting even a morsel of foreign policy unity they’re … blaming Biden for Russian Imperialism? We are a miserable country. https://t.co/sMxgxF2Imo
— louisvill_ian (@DoctorSoucy) February 24, 2022
Stefanik's comments come shortly after Trump praised Putin's strategy as "genius."