Former President Donald Trump and Republican Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina were singled out by Illinois Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger, who said Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is far more macho than the two of them combined.
Trump has been chastised for describing Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “genius” and “clever” while ordering his forces to invade Ukraine in full force at the end of February. Cawthorn came under fire this week after describing Ukraine’s president as a “thug” and the Ukrainian administration as “evil” during a weekend event.
Kinzinger, a vocal Trump opponent who voted to impeach the former president, has commended Zelensky and the Ukrainian military for fighting back against Russia’s unjustified and widely condemned invasion. The Republican lawmaker has chastised Trump, Cawthorn, and other conservatives for endorsing Putin or opposing Ukraine. In a Saturday morning tweet, he reinforced his criticism.
“It’s amazing when you think about it: Trump is obsessed with this idea of manliness, and he is the most soft-coddled person I’ve met. Not kidding. BUT This has to drive him crazy: Vladimir [sic] Zelensky at 5’7″ is three times the man both he and @CawthornforNC are combined,” Kinzinger tweeted. He quickly corrected the misspelling of Zelensky’s first name, writing in a follow-up post, “•volodymyr.”
As the Ukrainian people have banded together to fight back against Putin’s attack against their country, Zelensky has emerged as a hero. To explain his decision, Russian President Vladimir Putin made the ludicrous assertion that Ukraine is headed by “neo-Nazis,” but Zelensky is Jewish and lost family members in the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II. Ukraine’s prime minister was also Jewish when he was first elected in 2019 (with almost 73 percent of the vote).
Trump lauded Russian President Vladimir Putin just days before his invasion.
“Here’s a guy that says, you know, ‘I’m gonna declare a big portion of Ukraine independent.’ He used the word ‘independent,’ ‘and we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna go in and we’re gonna help keep the peace.’ You gotta say that’s pretty savvy,” Trump told The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show on February 22.
“I mean, he’s taken over a country for $2 worth of sanctions. I’d say that’s pretty smart. He’s taking over a country, really a vast, vast location, a great piece of land with a lot of people and just walking right in,” days later Trump praised Putin again from his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago.
In actuality, Putin’s forces have underperformed analysts’ predictions due to intense opposition from the Ukrainian military and ordinary civilians who have joined the fight.
“Remember that Zelensky is a thug. Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies.” The GOP congressman later published tweets criticizing Russia and saying that he was “praying for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people,” Cawthorn stated at an event last weekend.
“This is the sad but successful impact of Russia’s cyber operation that we’ve seen pushed and promoted on conservative outlets. The threat is real and it’s dangerous. Case in point: a sitting US Congressman is echoing Putin propaganda,” Kinzinger tweeted after Cawthorn made the comments.
This is the sad but successful impact of Russia’s cyber operation that we’ve seen pushed and promoted on conservative outlets. The threat is real and it’s dangerous. Case in point: a sitting US Congressman is echoing Putin propaganda. https://t.co/lGbHb6k4Z5
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) March 10, 2022