The former president’s son took a jab at the Ukrainian leader over the tens of billions of dollars of US aid his country has received.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, a former comedian, has emerged as the “highest paid actor” of 2022, Donald Trump Jr. joked in an Instagram post on Saturday. The Trumps have repeatedly criticized the volume of American aid to Zelensky’s government.
Trump Jr. shared a screenshot of a Twitter conversation in which the ‘Daily Loud’ listed Tom Cruise as 2022’s highest paid actor. “Actually Zelensky was the highest paid actor,” a commenter replied, adding that the Ukrainian leader earned “$18 billion” compared to Cruise’s $100 million.
“Checks out!” Trump Jr. remarked. “That said, I thought the number was $130,000,000,000.00.”
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Both the commenter and Trump Jr. got their figures wrong. Since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began last February The US has allocated around $113 billion for military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Kiev, of which more than $75 billion has been disbursed, according to data from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German think tank.
When aid from the EU and its individual members, plus US allies including Canada, Japan, and the UK is taken into account, the total sum sent to Kiev adds up to more than $143.6 billion, or nearly 25 times Ukraine’s 2021 defense budget.
Donald Trump Jr. referred to Zelensky as an “ungrateful international welfare queen” after the Ukrainian leader traveled to Washington in December to ask the US for more military aid. His father, meanwhile, has repeatedly accused President Joe Biden of risking “World War III” by arming Zelensky’s forces.
Partially blaming the conflict on “America Last Globalists” in the US State Department and Pentagon, Trump has insisted that if elected next year, he would have a ceasefire worked out “within 24 hours.”