Republican US senators Marco Rubio and Steve Daines are under fire after tweeting photos of a video call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday. Some of their colleagues say the photos could put Zelensky in danger.
Rubio and Daines tweeted Saturday that they were on a Zoom call with Zelensky, sharing photos of the Ukrainian leader wearing a signature army green shirt in front of a white wall with a Ukrainian flag.
Zelensky met a number of US lawmakers from both Republican and Democratic parties on Zoom, demanding that the US send more fighter jets, establish a no-fly zone over his country and tighten sanctions against Russia. .
But as Russian troops continued to attack Ukraine and advance toward Kyiv, Zelensky remained in the country, despite threats to his safety. Zelensky even told US lawmakers on the call that this might be the last time they saw him alive.
Democratic Representative Dean Phillips, who also joined the call, called the tweets from Daines and Rubio “frightening and reckless ignorance.”
“The Ukrainian ambassador very intentionally asked each of us on zoom NOT to share anything on social media during the meeting in order to protect the security of President Zelenskyy,” Phillips tweeted.
Representative Jason Crow, another Democrat, also criticized the tweets, saying, “Life is at stake.”
“The lack of discipline in Congress is truly astounding. If a drawn wartime leader asks you to keep quiet about a meeting, you’d better keep it quiet.” he tweeted. “I didn’t say a damn thing.”
Even some Republicans joined the chorus of condemning the tweets. Michael Steeleformer chairman of the Republican National Committee, tweeted at Rubio, “You have been specifically asked NOT to share this briefing with Zelensky. Why would you risk his safety for one? tweet?”
With files from the Associated Press.
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