Sen. Joni Ernst told reporters she has a unique view of the dispute over withholding military aid to Ukraine, a central focus of House Democrats’ impeachment case against the president, pointing out that this administration has done more than the previous — and even House Democrats prosecuting President Trump — to help secure Ukraine’s defense.
The Iowa Republican spoke with authority as a veteran, appearing frustrated Thursday night with House impeachment managers lecturing senators about the importance of providing Ukraine with the funds to defend itself.
Ms. Ernst said Mr. Trump provided lethal aid to Ukraine while President Obama did not, also pointing out that several House impeachment managers prosecuting the case against Mr. Trump actually voted against lethal aid for Ukraine, suggesting there’s a level of hypocrisy laced in the proceedings.
“How did the Obama administration react to that invasion of Ukraine? They reacted by sending blankets,” Ms. Ernst said. “Blankets don’t throw lead down range. This administration [and] President Trump provided lethal aid to the Ukrainian people. Actually allowed them an opportunity to defend themselves.”
She recalled visiting Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union in 1989. Ms. Ernst served for more than two decades in the Army National Guard.
The Iowa Republican also said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who is an impeachment manager, along with House Democratic Reps. Zoe Lofgren of California, Sylvia Garcia of Texas and Hakeem Jeffries of New York, all who either opposed or didn’t vote for national defense bills that included lethal aid to Ukraine.
“Four of the House managers have voted against lethal aid to Ukraine and they can sit there and lecture about this President not doing enough for Ukraine,” Ms. Ernst said. “This president has done more than they have and he has done more than the previous administration did.”
• Alex Swoyer can be reached at email@example.com.
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