When President Donald Trump was impeached in late 2019 after pressuring Ukraine’s leader for “a favor,” all while withholding $400 million in military aid to help confront Russian-backed separatists, even the staunchest defense hawks in the Republican Party stood virtually united by Trump’s side.
But as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military marched toward Kyiv this February, threatening not only Ukraine but the rest of Europe, Republicans and Democrats in Congress cast aside impeachment politics, rallied to Ukraine’s side and swiftly shipped billions to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s defense.
The question ahead, as Ukrainians battle Russia’s grinding invasion now past its 100th day, is whether the rare bipartisanship on Capitol Hill is resilient enough to withstand Trump’s isolationist influences on his party or whether Republicans who yielded to Trump’s “America First” approach will do so again, putting military and humanitarian support for Ukraine at risk.
“Maybe there is a recognition on both Republican side and Democratic side that this security assistance is very important,” said Bill Taylor, a former ambassador to Ukraine, in a recent interview with The Associated Press.
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