Lindsey Graham Meets Zelensky, Says He Floated Trump’s Loan Idea For Ukraine Aid
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (L) meets with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R) in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 18, 2024.
(Photo by Ukrainian Presidency/Anadolu via Getty Images)

On Monday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he raised former President Donald Trump‘s idea for a loan to Ukraine while meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A post to X from Graham said he had a “very productive visit” with Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials about the state of the Ukraine’s war against Russia, during which the United States has already given tens of billions of dollars of aid to Ukraine, and “what lies ahead.”

Graham said he informed Zelensky that Trump’s “idea of turning aid from the United States into a no-interest, waivable loan is the most likely path forward” given the border crisis and “overwhelming debt” in the U.S.

“This is not only true for aid for Ukraine, but for other countries across the board. I reiterated that the House’s Ukraine aid legislation must include some American border security provisions,” he added.

Trump, who is running for another term in the White House, urged lawmakers to reject foreign aid unless approved as a loan while Congress debated a $95 billion foreign aid bill that has since passed through the Democrat-led Senate. The GOP-led House has so far refused to take up the legislation, which includes roughly $60 billion in supplemental funds for Ukraine, amid objections to its lack of border security provisions and fiscal restraint.

“No money in the form of foreign aid should be given to any country unless it is done as a loan, not just a giveaway. It can be loaned on extraordinarily good terms, like no interest and an unlimited life, but a loan nevertheless,” Trump said in an all-caps post to Truth Social last month.

“The deal should be (contingent!) that the U.S. is helping you, as a nation, but if the country we are helping ever turns against us, or strikes it rich sometime in the future, the loan will be paid off and the money returned to the United States,” Trump added. “We should never give money anymore without the hope of a payback, or without ‘strings’ attached. The United States of America should be ‘stupid’ no longer!”

Over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin won re-election and paved the way to maintaining his rule until at least 2030. This followed news last week that the United States would send a new weapons package to Ukraine worth $300 million facilitated by cost savings in contracts despite a lack of funds to replenish the U.S. stockpile.

Graham said on Monday that he is also urging the Biden administration to send longer-range artillery, accelerate F-16 training for the Ukrainians, and designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism under U.S. law.

“Once Ukraine gets back on its feet, they will be an economic powerhouse because of their access to mass deposits of critical minerals, oil and gas,” he added. “It is clear Ukrainians appreciate the United States’ support. I know Americans want to help our friends and allies, but I also believe we must consider our economic situation as we help others.”

Zelensky said he discussed “comprehensive assistance for Ukraine” with Graham.

“I informed Senator Graham of the frontline situation and our army’s priority needs. It is critical that our partners continue to provide military and technical assistance, such as air defense systems and missiles,” he said in an English language post to X.

“We focused on Ukraine’s NATO integration, increased sanctions pressure on the aggressor state, and the use of frozen Russian assets for Ukraine’s urgent needs,” Zelensky continued.

Ukraine’s struggle for independence and territorial integrity continues,” Zelensky said. “The continued support of Ukraine by international partners, particularly the United States, is now more important than ever in implementing plans to de-occupy our territories and protect our people. Democracy and freedom must prevail — now and always.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Lindsey Graham Meets Zelensky, Says He Floated Trump’s Loan Idea For Ukraine Aid