March 20, 2024


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Sen Graham touts Trump plan for Ukraine loan in overseas meeting with Zelenskyy

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., promoted former President Trump’s plan for a loan to Ukraine, rather than aid, to continue supporting the country in their war with Russia during his meeting in Ukraine with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday.

‘I informed him that given the crisis at the United States’ southern border and our overwhelming debt, President Trump’s idea of turning aid from the United States into a no-interest, waivable loan is the most likely path forward,’ Graham announced Monday night. 

A spokesperson for Graham said the visit to Ukraine wasn’t on Trump’s orders, but that the two had discussed his plan for loans rather than foreign aid. 

Trump unveiled the idea last month, saying the U.S. should not give money to other countries anymore as foreign aid, but as loans instead. ‘It can be loaned on extraordinarily good terms, like no interest and an unlimited life, but a loan nevertheless,’ Trump wrote on Truth Social at the time. 

Graham quickly agreed with Trump’s proposal, claiming last month, ‘President Trump is right to insist that we think outside the box,’ Axios reported. The South Carolina senator did not vote in favor of the $95 billion aid package designed to support Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, citing domestic concerns about the southern border. 

‘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,’ Graham continued on Monday. 

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said, ‘President Trump has repeatedly stated that a top priority in his second term will be to quickly negotiate an end to the Russia-Ukraine war. Also, President Trump believes European nations should be paying more of the cost of the conflict, as the U.S. has paid significantly more, which is not fair to our taxpayers.’

‘He will do what is necessary to restore peace and rebuild American strength and deterrence on the world stage, and he is the only person who can make that happen. The war between Russia and Ukraine never would have happened if Donald J. Trump were President. So sad,’ he added. 

It’s unclear whether Zelenskyy is in support of the shift proposed by Trump and reiterated by the senator, but the Ukrainian president shared a video of his and Graham’s meeting on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

According to Zelenskyy, ‘We discussed further comprehensive assistance for Ukraine.’ 

He added that U.S. and other international support is ‘now more important than ever’ as Ukraine looks to implement its plans to beat Russian occupation of its territories. 

Graham additionally said he is ‘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.’

The White House did not provide comment when contacted by Fox News Digital.

The $95 billion aid package passed the Senate last month, without the support of Graham. But the measure has stalled in the House, where Republican leadership is unlikely to bring it for a vote. Several attempts to bypass the speaker have started among representatives in the form of discharge petitions to force legislation out of committee and onto the floor. A petition would require a majority of members to sign it in order to bypass leadership. 

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