Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Kathy Barnette challenged McConnell directly: “Why is Leader McConnell visiting Ukraine in the midst of the various crises right here in America?” But McConnell is unbowed.
The GOP leader argues the United States will be there for Ukraine as long as it takes and that there’s “broad bipartisan support for helping them” despite 57 no votes in the House on the package and Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) unilateral delay of the legislation in the Senate. Perhaps most important, McConnell is directly rejecting the notion that helping Ukraine comes at the expense of the United States.
“It’s in America’s interest to do this. This is not a charity we’re involved in here. It’s in our interests to help Ukrainians just like it’s in the interest of NATO countries. So this is not some handout,” McConnell told reporters on Sunday in a call after his visit with Zelenskyy. “This is to prevent this ruthless thug [Vladimir Putin] from beginning a march through Europe. And the first place to stop him is in Ukraine.”