Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) told reporters during a break in the Senate trial of President Donald Trump on Thursday that several of the House Democrat impeachment managers had voted against bills providing “lethal aid” to Ukraine.
Democrats have accused Trump of abandoning Ukraine by holding aid for several weeks over the summer of 2019. Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) even accused the president, falsely, of causing the deaths of Ukrainian soldiers.
In fact, Trump had previously sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, unlike President Barack Obama, who had only provided non-lethal aid.
Moreover, Ukraine did not even know about the hold on the aid until it was reported in the media several weeks later. And witnesses in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry testified that the hold did not affect the Javelins.
Ernst made it clear she was irritated with what she portrayed as hypocrisy by the Democrats.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), she said, voted against the most recent National Defense Authorization Act, “which included lethal aid to Ukraine.” Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Hakeem Jeffreys (D-NY), and Nadler (D-NY) voted against the last one, which also included such spending.
“This president has done more than they have, and he has done more than the previous administration did,” she said.
Ernst noted that Russia had invaded Crimea in 2014, and President Obama did nothing but send blankets and non-leah military aid. “Blankets don’t throw lead down-range,” said Ernst, a U.S. Army veteran.
In contrast, she noted, President Trump had armed Ukraine with actual weapons, giving it the opportunity to mount a defense against Russia.
“House Democrats, these House managers, did nothing of the sort to provide that assistance to Ukraine, and yet now they are on their high horse about President Trump not doing enough for Ukraine.
“This administration has done more than the previous administration did when Crimea was being invaded. I have very strong feelings about that.”
Ernst later added that the president’s temporary hold on security assistance had not affected current spending for Ukraine.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.