Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shut down a Newsmax reporter who attempted to suggest Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine would not have happened if former Republican President Donald Trump were still in office.
When asked by Newsmax's Rob Schmitt whether "different American leadership...Western leadership, may have prevented this aggression," Zelenskyy countered he is grateful for the help his country has received from Democratic President Joe Biden and his administration.
Moreover, Zelenskyy pointed out the most important thing for Ukraine at this moment is support from the American public, regardless of who is in office.
You can watch what happened in the video below.
"Well, I believe what's the most important is the assistance from the people of the United States."
"They are paying the taxes, and the money being allocated to support Ukraine comes from the taxes, and it's all of that humanitarian, financial, military support to Ukraine. So I am grateful to the current president of the United States as well as to those in the political parties that support us."
"I am sorry if I'll be saying something that you don't like, but for us as the country in war, it doesn't matter whether it's Democrats or Republicans. It's the people of the United States that support us."
"I don't know what would happen if the president, if Donald Trump would be the president of the United States for this situation, so I cannot predict what would happen."
Many praised Zelenskyy for his eloquent response and criticized the right-wing news outlet's Trump propaganda.
Trump found himself on the receiving end of criticism recently after old video footage of him urging Zelenskyy to "get together" with Putin to "solve your problem" resurfaced.
Trump's remarks, made on the sidelines of the United Nations on September 25, 2019, came shortly after the White House released a partial readout of a call he and Zelenskyy had on July 25, 2019, during which Trump urged Zelenskyy to open an investigation into then-candidate Joe Biden's son Hunter.
Trump, turning directly to Zelenskyy, claimed strengthened bilateral relations between the two world leaders, particularly since Russia's annexation of Crimea, would be "a tremendous achievement."
The meeting between Trump and Zelenskyy had been scheduled after congressional sources reported the call had been at the center of a whistleblower complaint.
As fate would have it, Trump's first impeachment was initiated in part because he'd encouraged Ukrainian leadership to investigate then-candidate Biden for “political dirt” he could wield against his opponent.
Trump was ultimately acquitted by the Senate in early 2020 following a highly contentious trial and he touted the acquittal as a sign of his innocence in the matter, which he has claimed, without evidence, was a Democratic plot to topple his presidency.
Trump's often deferential attitude toward Putin has gone a long way toward normalizing Putin's behavior among the right wing, behavior that has come under increased scrutiny since United States intelligence assessed Russian operatives interfered in the 2016 presidential election and in particular since February, when Putin ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine.
These events seem particularly more salient in light of the fact in the weeks before the invasion, Russia had issued several security demands the United States and its allies rejected.
Putin aims to curtail the enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), seeking to bar Ukraine from joining the alliance in a bid to assert Russia’s influence over its neighbors, aspirations that gained further prominence after Putin seized the Crimean Penninsula in 2014.
Although Ukraine is not yet a member of NATO, it is partnered with the military alliance. This development angered Putin, who views Ukraine not as an independent nation but as land lost as a result of the end of the Cold War, which resulted in the Soviet Union's collapse and diminished Russia's superpower status.
Putin had left world leaders guessing as to whether or not he actually wanted to proceed with an invasion though he clearly wants NATO to curb military exercises in Ukraine and in other former Soviet satellite states, demands that resulted in a diplomatic stalemate.