Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rebuffs Donald Trump, says he can't 'manage' war with Russia – USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said former President Donald Trump is welcome to visit the war-torn nation of Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s invasion.
Zelenskyy in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” rebuffed Trump’s repeated claims he could solve the war in Ukraine in “24 hours.” In response, the Ukrainian leader said all he needs is “24 minutes” to explain to the former president he can’t manage the war.
“Former President Trump said that in about 24 hours, he can manage it and finish this war. For me, what can I say? He’s very welcome as well,” Zelenskyy said. “President (Joe) Biden was here and I think he understood some details which you can understand only (by) being here.”
“I invite President Trump. If he can come here, I will need 24 minutes … to explain to President Trump that he can’t manage this war,” Zelenskyy added.
Skepticism about continued U.S. aid to Ukraine among Republicans has been growing, and it’s not clear how Trump would address the war if he returns to the White House for a second term.
Trump’s comments that he could end the war within one day have received praise from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said in September “we cannot help but feel happy about it.” The former president responded and said he enjoyed Putin’s remarks, setting off alarms among Ukraine’s supporters that Trump could be open to ceding Ukrainian territory to Russia.
Zelenskyy on Sunday warned Trump against giving any land over to Russia.
“If he’s not trying and if he’s not ready, to give our territory to this terrible man, to Putin, if you are not ready to give it, if you are not ready to give our independence, he can’t manage it,” Zelenskyy said.
Zelenskyy said he was unsure if Trump would support the war effort and explained that the opinions of “ordinary people” in the U.S. are the most important, as American tax dollars fund aid to his country.
“I think it depends on the opinion of Americans,” Zelenskyy said. “I think that is most important. I think it’s important in the United States and (Europe), the attitude of just ordinary people. It’s their support, it’s their money, it depends on them.”