- A Newsmax host asked Zelenskyy if Russia’s invasion may have been prevented with Trump as president.
- Zelenskyy said it was not important which party was in power in the US.
- He apologized to host Rob Schmitt for “saying something that you don’t like.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shut down a Newsmax interviewer who prompted him to say that there would be no war in Ukraine if former President Donald Trump were still US president.
Zelenskyy was interviewed by Newsmax anchor Rob Schmitt in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, on Tuesday about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Schmitt asked Zelenskyy: “Do you think that different American leadership, do you think that different Western leadership, may have prevented this aggression?
“There are many Americans that believe that if somebody like Donald Trump was still in the White House that this invasion would not have happened. What is your position?”
Zelenskyy responded by saying that he was grateful for the help given by current US President Joe Biden, and that the most important thing for Ukraine is support from the American public, regardless of which party is in power.
He said: “Well I believe what’s the most important is the assistance from the people of the United States. They are paying the taxes, and the money being allocated to support Ukraine comes from the taxes, and it’s all of that humanitarian, financial, military support to Ukraine. So I am grateful to the current president of the United States as well as to those in the political parties that support us.”
“I am sorry if I’ll be saying something that you don’t like but for us as the country in war, it doesn’t matter whether its Democrats or Republicans. It’s the people of the United States that support us,” he said.
Zelenskyy later added: “I don’t know what would happen if the president, if Donald Trump would be the president of the United States for this situation, so I cannot predict what would happen.”
Zelenskyy said that it was important that US institutions like the Senate and Congress work the same regardless of who is in power, to keep “the values of the United States.”
Newsmax is a right-wing outlet known for its support of Trump.
Trump has previously claimed that him being in power would have prevented Russia from invading.
He said in a statement on February 24, the day Russia invaded: “If I were in Office, this deadly Ukraine situation would never have happened!”
Trump and Zelenskyy have a significant political backstory, and the question of US support led to Trump’s first impeachment.
Congress impeached Trump over a 2019 phone call with Zelenskyy when he urged the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden, his political rival, and his son, Hunter Biden, seemingly in exchange for military aid.