And, boy, was the pushback hard and fierce.
In an interview in Time magazine published Monday, Zelensky lamented that Trump’s promotion of an unfounded conspiracy theory that Ukraine had meddled in the 2016 U.S. elections is making it hard for Zelensky to improve his country’s image with other nations.
Also, asked about the connection between frozen U.S. military aid to Ukraine and investigations that would benefit Trump, Zelensky said he had “never talked to the President from the position of a quid pro quo,” claiming that’s not his “thing” and that he didn’t want Ukraine “to look like beggars.”
But he added:
“If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us. I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo. It just goes without saying.”
Zelensky was clearly criticizing the U.S.’s conduct toward Ukraine in the interview, but Trump didn’t let the facts get in his way. He used Zelensky’s comments to argue that he’d done nothing wrong in his interactions with Ukraine, which are now under scrutiny in the House impeachment probe.
Many Twitter users were quick to point out that Zelensky was actually calling out out the president, not defending him.
One person jumped to the president’s defense ― sort of.
Another saw another big issue facing the president.
Finally, author Rick Wilson couldn’t help but make this observation: