Volodymyr Zelensky‘s visit to the White House and Congress drew the ire of Fox News host Tucker Carlson who repeatedly criticized how the war-time Ukrainian president was dressed.
Speaking on his show on Wednesday night, Carlson said that Zelensky looked like a “strip club manager” and should have been thrown out of Congress.
He also questioned why both Republicans and Democratic politicians were supporting the Ukrainians’ fight against Russia by continuing to provide financial support.
“Today the president of Ukraine arrived at the White House like the manager of a strip club and started to demand money,” Carlson said.
“Amazingly, no one threw him out; instead they did whatever he wanted.
“American taxpayers will continue to give Zelensky whatever he demands for ‘as long as it takes.’”
“Tellingly Biden never specified what it is, as long as it takes to do what? Push the Russian army back to pre-invasion borders, sounds reasonable.
“That is likely what Americans likely assumed, those that are paying attention but that is not what Zelensky means.”
Carlson then said Zelensky wants a regime change in Russia and wants the U.S.’s help to do it.
“What happens if he ‘wins?’ What does the ensuing chaos look like, thought about that? Who’s gonna secure the world’s largest nuclear arsenal […]? Who replaces Putin? Strangely those topics did not come up today,” said Carlson.
He added that it was a “humiliating scenario” for the U.S. to be giving money to Ukraine while its own economy struggles.
During his address to Congress, Zelensky said that giving to him and his nation should not be seen as charity but rather as an “investment in the global security and democracy.” After making this point, Zelensky received a standing ovation from nearly all those in the room.
The speech was made as Congress considers a $1.7 trillion spending bill. This bill would include about $45 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine but it has been opposed by some Republicans.
Carlson was not the only individual to take issue with Zelensky’s appearance with some commentators arguing he should worn a suit.
Newsmax host Benny Johnson took to Twitter and wrote: “This ungrateful piece of s*** does not have the decency to wear a suit to the White House, no respect [to] the country that is funding his survival.
This ungrateful piece of sh*t does not have the decency to wear a suit to the White House — no respect the country that is funding his survival.
Track suit wearing eastern european con-man mafia.
Our leaders fell for it. They have disgraced us all. What an incredible insult. pic.twitter.com/7WdLnqfYur
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) December 21, 2022
“Track suit wearing eastern European con-man mafia. Our leaders fell for it. They have disgraced us all. What an incredible insult.”
Writer for conservative news website Breitbart Wendell Husebø also weighed in and tweeted: “Zelensky arrives at the White House to demand more support than $45 billion in the omnibus bill.
Zelensky arrives at the White House to demand more support than $45B aid in the omnibus bill.
For $45B, show some respect and rent a suit. pic.twitter.com/yRsZKhSGKK
— Wendell Husebø (@WendellHusebo) December 21, 2022
“For $45 billion, show some respect and rent a suit.”
Some defended the Ukrainian president’s appearance. Murtaza Hussain, reporter at The Intercept, tweeted: “If Zelensky had worn a suit and tie the same people upset about his fatigues would’ve been calling him an out of touch charlatan. Just ignore the vacuous commentary.”
Shadi Hamid, author and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, tweeted: “Serious question: Why exactly should Zelensky be wearing a suit? He doesn’t wear a suit in Ukraine, so it’s unclear why he would wear one in the U.S.”
Newsweek has contacted Fox News for comment.
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