House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) chided a Russian reporter who asked him on Monday if the United States would reconsider sending weapons to Ukraine more than a year after Russia invaded its neighbor.
During the exchange, the journalist began the question by claiming that it is known that McCarthy does not support the “uncontrolled” supply of assistance to Ukraine. That appeared to be a reference to McCarthy speaking out against writing a “blank check” to Ukraine.
McCarthy rebuffed the assertion.
When a Russian reporter asks him if the U.S. will send more weapons and aid to Ukraine, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy — despite previously saying there should be no “blank check” — says he supports helping Ukraine:
“I support aid for Ukraine … We will continue to support.” pic.twitter.com/d5Fmr1RNCM
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“I support aid for Ukraine. I do not support what your country has done to Ukraine,” McCarthy said.
“I do not support your killing of the children either. And I think for one standpoint, you should pull out, and I don’t think it’s right,” McCarthy added. “And we will continue to support because the rest of the world sees it just as it is.”
McCarthy was speaking during a press conference in Jerusalem, where he addressed the Knesset and reaffirmed U.S. funding for security assistance to Israel. After a round of applause for McCarthy’s comments on Ukraine, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) stepped in to say he shared the speaker’s view.
“This might be the most important diplomatic news on this trip. Prompted by a Russian reporter asking about Ukraine in Israel, prompting Mccarthy’s strongest anti-Putin remarks as speaker,” observed Washington Post senior congressional correspondent and columnist Paul Kane.
More than 14 months after Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the United States has pumped tens of billions of dollars to prop up Kyiv’s fight against Russian invaders. Some Republican members of the House have cranked up the pressure to halt the flow of aid to Ukraine.
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In February, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) led a group of 11 lawmakers in introducing a “Ukraine Fatigue” resolution, which a press release said “would express through the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States must end its military and financial aid to Ukraine, and urges all combatants to reach a peace agreement.”
McCarthy rejected the proposal. “No, I support Ukraine,” he told CNN when asked about the resolution. “I don’t support a blank check, though. We spent $100 billion here, we want to win.”
The speaker went on to criticize President Joe Biden, saying the actions the commander-in-chief has taken come “a bit too late.”