Romney Berates Trump For Weakening Ukraine Ahead Of Putin Invasion

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During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union over the weekend, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) forcefully condemned the infamous pressure campaign that was launched by then-President Donald Trump and others to try and get Ukrainian authorities to launch investigations that would be politically favorable to the Trump team. Amid that pressure campaign, Trump directly tied the provision of critical weapons for Ukraine to whether or not the country’s government would do what he wanted. On a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Trump pushed this whole thing; Zelenskyy said that his country was “ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes,” to which Trump replied: “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it,” launching into a rant about an election-related conspiracy theory he wanted Ukrainian authorities to examine.

Referring to those remarks, as captured in a transcript of the original conversation, Romney commented as follows on Sunday morning:

‘That was a very sad and awful exchange on the part of our president. This was Zelenskyy — now a world hero, asking for weapons. And it was an American president slow-walking the provision of those weapons in order to have Zelenskyy carry out a political investigation on his foe. It was wrong. It was in violation of a president’s responsibility to defend our nation and defend the cause of freedom and resulted in his being impeached… Without question, President Trump slow-walking the provision of weapons to Ukraine was an enormous error.’

Romney also criticized the fact that American authorities hadn’t further shored up Ukraine’s defenses throughout previous decades. Watch his weekend comments on CNN below:

Romney has previously criticized Trump’s “America First” foreign policy approach for its contribution to instability that helped lay the groundwork for the ongoing Russian assault on Ukraine. The Senator said that “Putin’s impunity predictably follows our tepid response to his previous horrors in Georgia and Crimea, our naive efforts at a one-sided ‘reset,’ and the shortsightedness of ‘America First.’” So far, Ukrainian personnel have been able to keep the Russians from making more substantial territorial gains such as taking the capital, where Zelenskyy has stayed amid the struggle to defend his country against Putin’s attack. The damage has already been relatively devastating — besides the physical impacts of Russian military assaults, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have fled the country. The United Nations refugee agency known as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees placed the number of Ukrainian refugees at 368,000 as of early this Sunday, with the agency also noting that the number of refugees associated with the ongoing conflict was expected to continue growing.