March 11, 2022
The former press secretary to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is not a fan of Vice President Kamala Harris.
In a tweet that has since been deleted, Iuliia Mendel wrote on Twitter that it would be a “tragedy” if Harris ever became president.
“It would be a tragedy if this woman won the presidency,” Mendel wrote on Twitter following Harris’ Thursday press conference alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda addressing the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Below is a screenshot of Mendel’s now-deleted tweet:
Mendel’s tweet was directed at a video posted by another user showing Harris awkwardly laughing following a question from a reporter about Ukrainian refugees.
Harris oddly laughed when she asked if the United States planned on making space for Ukrainian refugees as she met with foreign leaders in Poland to discuss the ongoing Russian invasion.
Both Harris and Poland’s President Andrzej Duda were asked about whether the U.S. would be accepting a greater number of Ukrainian refugees, with the VP giggling awkwardly before Duda actually took the time to answer what was a serious question, given that many of the 2 million Ukrainians who have fled the fighting are currently in his country.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed,” Harris said with a smile before a more somber Duda said he had asked the U.S. vice president to help speed up the process for Ukrainian refugees with family in the U.S. to be able to head to America.
“We are looking for international support because indeed the vast majority of Ukrainian refugees are coming to our country,” Duda said, though Harris did not commit the U.S. to take in a certain number of Ukrainians trying to escape the war.
That said, Harris did note that Ukrainians who are currently in the United States and may have visas that are set to expire soon could remain in America for the time being.
“We will not send them back tow hat is a war zone,” she said.
She also committed the Biden administration to assist Poland.
“As we have said many times through our work collectively in the UN through NATO, we will support Poland in terms of the burden it is facing and our collective responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of these refugees,” Harris said.
Many on social media slammed Harris over her response:
The White House explained the purpose of Harris’ trip in a statement.
“During her trip to Warsaw, Poland, today, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris announced nearly $53 million in new humanitarian assistance from the United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), to support innocent civilians affected by Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine,” the statement said.
“This additional assistance includes support to the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide lifesaving emergency food assistance to meet immediate needs of hundreds of thousands affected by the invasion, including people who are displaced from their homes and who are crossing the border out of Ukraine. In addition, it will support WFP’s logistics operations to move assistance into Ukraine, including to people in Kyiv,” the White House added.
“The United States is the largest provider of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and has provided $159 million in overall humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since October 2020, including nearly $107 million in the past two weeks in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This includes food, safe drinking water, shelter, emergency health care, and winterization services to communities affected by ongoing fighting,” the statement continued.
“To date, two million people have been forced to flee Ukraine due to the conflict, and an estimated one million are displaced inside Ukraine. At least 12 million people are in need of humanitarian aid across Ukraine. The United States continues to stand with the people of Ukraine and will continue to work to meet immediate needs and save lives,” the White House noted further.