Republican Representative Thomas Massie from Kentucky’s 4th District has announced he will be boycotting the Ukrainian President’s speech on the floor of the House tonight. The tweet reads below:
I’m in DC but I will not be attending the speech of the Ukrainian lobbyist.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 22, 2022
Massie has been described as a libertarian Republican and a member of the Tea Party movement, which backed his candidacy for Congress in 2012. He has been extremely vocal about U.S. assistance to Ukraine and routinely espouses America First-Esque rhetoric, especially after todays announcements of additional aid and Patriot missile batteries to Ukraine. Massie also voted no in a resolution to approve the accession of Finland and Sweden into NATO.
Also it is worth noting that less than one month after Russia invaded Ukraine, Representative Massie tweeted that “NATO is obsolete”.
NATO is obsolete.
?Putin was unable to roll over Ukraine
?Americans are done subsidizing socialism
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) March 24, 2022
However, the most notable is a lack of any response to the Russian invasion on February 24th, 2022. By using Twitter’s advanced search, this publication viewed Representative Massie’s tweet deck filtered with mentions of “Ukraine” from early February to March. These were the results.
Rhetoric from a growing cell of Republicans against aid to Ukraine probably has played a role in the Ukrainian President deciding to make his first international trip since Russia invaded on February 24th. American support to Ukraine is vital to fund spring offensives and repel tactical Russian gains in Eastern Ukraine. Now that the Republicans control the House of Representatives, Zelensky has decided to engage the U.S. government more broadly as well as the American people.
It is unclear if Representative Massie understands the national security implications of a weakened Russia being forced to retreat from Ukraine and possible political reform that could come in Russia from a disgraced Putin. Either way his role as a policy maker and dissident voice of bi-partisan and global support to Ukraine is worth noting and understanding as Russian intelligence seeks to leverage these voices in information operations across the globe.