Conservative lawmaker Matt Gaetz said he refused to stand or applaud Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky because it would have been a “North Korean-style act”.
The Florida Republican, as well as Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert, were widely criticized for their behavior when the Ukrainian leader addressed a rare joint meeting of Congress this week.
Mr Gaetz appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show on Thursday and was hailed for refusing to ‘stand up and clap like a seal as a sweatshirt-clad foreign leader lectured our country’ .
Mr. Carlson, whose show was used as pro-Russian propaganda by the Kremlin, facetiously asked Mr. Gaetz: “How much do you like Putin that you didn’t applaud last night?”
“I have no qualms about coming out and applauding a foreign leader from a historically corrupt country who is begging for more than a hundred billion dollars that Congress has already decided to send them,” Mr. Gaetz told him.
“Now when President Trump said America would never be a socialist country, you saw the Democrats sitting on their hands,” Gaetz continued.
“But when we say you shouldn’t send endless amounts of money to this place where we exacerbate death and strife, it’s like we’re traitors to the movement because Lauren Boebert and I didn’t agree. not lifted in a kind of North Korean performance.
Mr Carlson went on to describe Mr Zelensky as ‘an arrogant stranger demanding money we don’t have’.
Her appearance was quickly criticized by Twitter users.
“I’m sure Russian TV tonight aired a clip from Tucker’s pro-Putin propaganda show. You and Carlson should move to Russia and work for TASS,” one user wrote.
“You Gaetz have no ethics or morals or empathy for others… Just disgusting,” added another.
And another user added: “Scrolling on your phones during the speech was rude, classless and disgraceful.”
The Independent Gt