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Tillis calls Vance remarks on Ukraine ‘total and unmitigated bull‑‑‑‑’

Tillis calls Vance remarks on Ukraine ‘total and unmitigated bull‑‑‑‑’

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) on Monday dug into Sen. JD Vance’s (R-Ohio) recent remarks against sending further aid to Ukraine, calling the Ohio Republican’s comments “total and unmitigated bull‑‑‑‑.”

Vance, in an interview with former White House aid Steve Bannon earlier Monday, claimed some lawmakers are looking to cut Social Security benefits for more aid to Ukraine that he argued will be used so one of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s ministers “can buy a bigger yacht.”

When asked about Vance’s remarks later on Monday, Tillis told reporters, “I think it’s bull‑‑‑‑.”

“If you’re talking about giving money to Ukrainian ministers — total and unmitigated bull‑‑‑‑,” Tillis continued. “Not productive conversation … not real happy about it.”

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On Sunday, Vance reaffirmed his opposition to sending additional aid to Ukraine and said he does not believe Ukraine will ever be able to prevail over Russia. He argued the U.S. needs to accept Ukraine will likely need to “cede some territory” to stop its fighting with Russia and questioned how billions in additional aid to Ukraine will help the war-torn country.

Presented with Tillis’s criticism later Monday, Vance said he believes Ukraine is “one of the most corrupt countries in Europe.”

“We know that a number of people have gotten rich in Ukraine, and … I think it’s naivety if you don’t think they’ve gotten rich with some of our money,” Vance told reporters.

Maintaining that Tillis is “one of his favorite colleagues,” Vance said the North Carolina Republican is “not living in reality.”

“Well, it’s never good to have Thom Tillis peeved at us,” Vance told reporters Monday, adding later, “But with all due respect to Thom, he’s not living in reality. There is no plausible pathway to the end of the war where Ukraine goes back to 1991 or 2014. It just isn’t … that’s not a desirable thing; it’s not a good thing.”

“It’s the reality that we’re living in, and if you can’t accept it, you’re never going to actually force negotiation that’s going to bring this thing to a close.”

Vance was among the Republican senators last week to block a bill that would’ve provided aid to Ukraine and Israel for their respective conflicts against Russia and militant group Hamas.

The $111 billion emergency supplemental package was requested by President Biden in October, and it also included aid for Indo-Pacific allies and funding for humanitarian aid in Gaza, in addition to the U.S. southern border and drug trafficking.

The Senate Republicans who voted against the bill cited a lack of border provisions and have repeatedly insisted on withholding votes until satisfactory provisions are attached to the motion.

Ukraine money likely to be delayed until January, Senate Republican says

As Ukraine’s war with Moscow approaches a two-year mark this winter, some lawmakers, like Vance, are hesitant to continue funding the war-torn country.

During this week’s trip to the U.S., Zelensky will meet Tuesday with Biden, along with House Speaker Mike Johnson, where they will likely discuss the stalled funding.

Aris Folley contributed.

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