Jeffries: ‘Pro-Putin faction’ led by Trump, Tucker Carlson stopping Ukraine aid

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) blamed former President Trump and conservative media host Tucker Carlson for the rise in anti-Ukrainian sentiment in the House, dubbing the pair the leaders of a “pro-Putin faction” of the Republican Party.

Ukraine aid has languished in the House for months as Republicans refuse to pass foreign spending without major border security reforms. Jeffries called on Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to bring a Senate bill to the floor once again Sunday.

“The reason why it’s not happening is because there’s a pro-Putin faction in the Republican Party led by Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson who are blocking this legislation,” he said in a CBS “Face the Nation” interview with Margaret Brennan. “And that’s shameful.”

Aid for Ukraine was initially part of a bipartisan Senate bill that also included border security measures. That bill was killed in the House, with Democrats claiming Trump instructed Johnson and other Republicans to come out against it.

Trump said he didn’t want the bipartisan measure to pass to avoid giving President Biden an electoral victory on the politically critical border issue.

Carlson, the former Fox News host-turned independent online media figure, visited Russia last month and published a series of videos praising the country and criticizing President Biden. His sit-down interview with President Vladimir Putin was panned as not critical enough.

Jeffries also said he believes some Democrats would vote against a motion to vacate Johnson’s Speakership if he passes the foreign spending bill, which includes Ukraine aid.

“We haven’t had that conversation as a caucus,” Jeffries said. “But I have made the observation that I believe there are a reasonable number of members if the Speaker wants to do the right thing, that don’t believe that he should fall as a result of it.”

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