Biden yelled at Ukraine’s Zelenskyy during tense phone call: report
President Biden lost his temper and yelled at Ukrainian Preisdent Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a phone call in June, NBC News reported Monday.
The tense exchange came on June 15 when Biden called Zelenskyy to deliver the news that he had secured $1 billion in defense and humanitarian funding for the country. Zelenskyy did not express much gratitude, however, and began to list more things that his country needed. Biden then raised his voice, saying that the American people were already very generous, according to the report.
Zelenskyy soon released a video statement thanking the United States for its support. Administration officials disagreed with claims that Biden had yelled at Zelenskyy, saying instead that he had been “directed.”
The pair are said to have since improved their relationship, however, and secured tens of billions in additional funding for Ukraine.
The report comes as continued funding for Ukraine has become less secure. Republicans in Congress expressed skepticism Biden’s “blank check” to Zelenskyy and the party can take control of the branch in November.
“I think people are going to sit in a recession and not write a blank check to Ukraine,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said this month. “They just didn’t do it. … It’s not a free blank check.”
McCarthy later clarified that Ukraine remains a very important issue for him and for the United States, but “it should not be a blank check for anything. We are $31 trillion in debt.”
Representative Mike Turner, R-Ohio, he also warned against rumors that Republicans are planning to end funding to Ukraine. He argued last week that the problem for many GOP lawmakers was not helping Ukraine in its hour of need, but rather the exorbitant Democrats have done in recent months.
“No one in the Republican leadership has called for an end to aid for Ukraine,” Turner said. “People on the Republican side are saying, ‘Why are we going to pass a $40 billion package to send $8 billion to Ukraine?’ “
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