Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz Sit and Smirk as Zelensky Calls for US Unity

Matt Gaetz Lauren Boebert Volodymyr Zelensky Congress
Republican Representatives Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz are pictured at left in Congress on October 21, 2021 while President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seen at right during his Wednesday address to Congress in Washington, DC
Chip Somodevilla; OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images

US Republican Representatives Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert refused to applaud or advocate for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his personal speech to Congress.

The President of Ukraine received a standing ovation from an overwhelming majority of lawmakers as he entered the plenary chamber of the House of Representatives on Wednesday evening. According to a, Boebert and Gaetz were among the few who didn’t applaud Zelensky on his way to the podium tweet by Jake Sherman, founder of Punchbowl News.

Zelenskyy said Ukraine is “alive and alive”, thanked the American people for their support and urged unity during the speech. His visit to Washington comes as a $1.7 trillion spending bill, which includes $45 billion in aid to Ukraine, is going through Congress.

Boebert and Gaetz, both opposed to additional aid to Ukraine and calling for investigations into past aid, were also sighted apparently scrolling through their phones while Zelensky delivered his speech.

While Zelensky received a standing ovation when he described US aid to Ukraine as an “investment in global security and democracy” that is being managed “in the most responsible manner,” Boebert and Gaetz remained seated. Gaetz appeared to briefly smile or grin during the ovation.

When asked for comment on the apparent lack of enthusiasm, Gaetz’s office pointed it out news week to a expression which the congressman shared on Twitter shortly after the speech.

“President Zelensky should be commended for putting his country first, but American politicians who give in to his demands are unwilling to do the same for ours,” Gaetz said. “He hasn’t changed my stance on suspending aid to Ukraine and investigating fraud in transfers already made.”

news week has reached out to Boebert’s office for comment.

While refusing for most of the speech, Gaetz and Boebert rose and clapped as Zelensky finished his speech. according to to Los Angeles Times Convention reporter Noal McCaskill.

A small number of other far-right Republican lawmakers opposed to aid to Ukraine, such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Senator Josh Hawley, were absent from Zelensky’s speech. according to to Wall Street Journal Congressional Correspondent Lindsay Wise.

This is an evolving story and will be updated as more information becomes available. Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz Sit and Smirk as Zelensky Calls for US Unity

Rick Schindler

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