Why the new “controversy” over aid to Ukraine is not at all controversial

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At first glance, this Politics report from the end of last week has a familiar feel.

The Biden White House has temporarily halted a military aid program to Ukraine that would include lethal weapons, a plan originally devised in response to aggressive movements of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border this spring. The aid plan is reportedly worth up to $ 100 million, according to four people familiar with the internal deliberations.

As the report explained, the aid plan was drawn in response to an escalation of the Russian military, but ahead of last week’s summit between President Joe Biden and President Vladimir Putin, Moscow announced its intention. to downsize near the Ukrainian border.

If the circumstances justify it, military aid could still be sent to our allies in Kiev. Moreover, this is only part of a larger picture: As White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki explained in a written statement: “The idea that we took the Security assistance to Ukraine is nonsense. at the US-Russia summit – we provided a package of $ 150 million in security assistance, including deadly assistance. “

It hardly sounds like a political controversy, although Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) Has taken to social media to push a curious line: “Do you remember when the freezing of military aid to Ukraine was an impeachment offense?

Well, no, not really.

About two years ago, Donald Trump also froze military aid to Ukraine, not in response to Russian troop deployments, but as part of a corrupt extortion plan: the Republican hatched a plan to leverage US aid in the hope that Ukrainian officials would help. Trump is cheating in the 2020 presidential election.

In a notorious telephone meeting, when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed the importance of lethal aid, the then US president replied, “I would like you to do us a favor, though.

This led to the first of two Trump impeachments, not because he froze military aid to Ukraine, but because he used US resources as part of an illegal extortion plan. .

Whether Rubio intended to do so or not, he pointed out a critical difference between the two presidents: The Biden and Trump administrations superficially took similar steps, but only one of them engaged in corruption. cheeky.

It was corruption that Rubio was quick to ignore: the Florida senator, like almost all other Republicans in Congress, voted against holding Trump responsible for his venality.

Maybe Rubio was aware of these relevant details and thought his tweet would be funny. Maybe he’s really confused and posted this tweet because he doesn’t understand the relevant details.

Or maybe Rubio knows how stupid the comparison is, but is hoping that part of the Republican base is fooled into thinking there is controversy where there is not.





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