"Ungrateful international welfare queen": MTG, Don Jr. lead GOP attacks on Zelenskyy's D.C. visit

Greene called Zelenskyy the "shadow president" and claimed Ukraine was the "51st state"

By Samaa Khullar

News Fellow

Published December 21, 2022 2:33PM (EST)

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi during a joint press conference with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Secretary-General of the UN Antonio Guterres on August 18, 2022 in Lviv, Ukraine.  (Yan Dobronosov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi during a joint press conference with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Secretary-General of the UN Antonio Guterres on August 18, 2022 in Lviv, Ukraine. (Yan Dobronosov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., criticized Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's surprise trip to Washington D.C., calling him a "shadow president" and his country "the 51st state."

Zelenskyy announced early on Wednesday that he would be making his first overseas trip to Washington since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine 300 days ago. He will meet with President Joe Biden to discuss Ukraine's request for a Patriot missile defense battery, according to a senior administration official as reported by Axios.

Ukraine has been supplied with various missile defense systems from France, Germany and the U.S. in recent weeks, but the Patriot system would be the most advanced thus far. 

Far-right Republicans have been critical of U.S. support for Ukraine, claiming the aid is unnecessary despite reports from Ukraine that claim Russia is planning to launch a massive winter offensive. 

"Of course the shadow president has to come to Congress and explain why he needs billions of American's taxpayer dollars for the 51st state, Ukraine," Greene tweeted on Wednesday. "This is absurd. Put America First!!!"

So far, the U.S. has given Ukraine $19 billion in aid, and the administration official told Axios that Biden will announce an additional $2 billion assistance package that includes the Patriot missile.

While bipartisan support for Ukraine remains relatively strong, many MAGA Republicans have heralded an "America First" foreign policy, with some even expressing their admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump Jr. also took to Twitter to complain about Zelenskyy's visit to the White House and Republican support for Ukraine's defense system.

"Zelensky is basically an ungrateful international welfare queen," he tweeted.

Trump Jr. is the son of former President Donald Trump, who along with his wife Melania Trump, paid less than $750 in taxes multiple years in office. 


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"Mitch McConnell actually said yesterday that most Republicans #1 priority is ... Ukraine," Trump Jr. wrote. "I have yet to meet a single Republican that thinks that, but I guess the disconnect between actual republicans and DC swamp rats shouldn't surprise anyone."

Greene also targeted McConnell on Twitter.

"Mitch McConnell helps pass a nearly $2 TRILLION Onnimonster so that he can hand a $47 BILLION dollar check to Zelenskyy when he shows up in DC today," she wrote. "But in my district, many families & seniors can't afford food & many businesses are struggling bc of Biden policies."

Greene then went on to claim that she represents how Americans feel on the subject, which several people online disputed.

"The disconnected & totally oblivious government leaders & sheltered media all live in a bubble & only talk to each other," the congresswoman tweeted. "They're so naive & ignorant they think my views are extreme but are totally blind and stupid to the fact that what I am saying is exactly how Americans feel."

Social media users were quick to slam Greene and Trump Jr. for their comments, especially since they came hours after a report revealed how little former President Trump paid in taxes while in the White House. 

"A daddy's boy who met with a foreign adversary that was attempting to subvert an American election is daring to denigrate a true hero battling Putin & defending his nation from a genocidal war? This may be the dumbest remark ever from Junior. And that's quite an accomplishment," wrote MSNBC analyst David Corn. 

"Your dad doesn't pay his taxes. Sit this one out, buddy," wrote the Lincoln Project in response to Trump Jr.


By Samaa Khullar

Samaa Khullar is a news fellow at Salon with a background in Middle Eastern history and politics.

MORE FROM Samaa Khullar


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Jr. Joe Biden Marjorie Taylor Greene Volodymyr Zelenskyy