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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Candace Owens shares misleading Zelensky video: "That’s brave"

Candace Owens this week shared misleading video footage of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on her Daily Wire show as she spoke about her desire to slap him “in the face.”

The conservative commentator, who has publicly criticized the Ukrainian leader on a number of occasions, played a second-long clip she dubbed Zelensky “warning you about what will happen if you stop funding his lifestyle.”

Owens has previously accused Zelensky of “stealing from our people,” referring to US aid being sent to Ukraine amid the ongoing full-scale invasion of Russia.

In the clip Owens shared this week, Zelensky was heard saying, “The US must send its sons and daughters to war just as we send our sons and daughters to war. And they’re going to have to fight because it’s nature for us to talk. And they will die, God forbid, for it is a terrible thing.”

“Oof,” Owens said in response to the video. “I’m not going to say I want to punch Zelensky in the face because that’s violent. But I’ll say this if I could get away with punching a person in the face and have no consequences if it were President Zelenskyy.

“I can’t even tell you how much I have in store for him,” Owens continued of Zelensky. “The audacity to tell you that unless you help him win a victory against Russia, the consequence will be that your sons and daughters will fight and die. Wow. That’s brave.

“But why shouldn’t he feel brave? He’s got, he’s got our congressmen waving the Ukrainian flag in our chambers, right. In our congressional chambers.”

The short clip of Zelenskyy speaking is from the lengthy press conference held by the Ukrainian president on February 24 to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of his country. It went viral on social media this week, with many suggesting it showed the Ukrainian leader urging people in the United States to send their children to Ukraine to fight.

It was shared on Twitter by The Hodgetwins, aka the Conservative Twins. The Hodgetwins are an American stand-up comedy and conservative political commentary duo, consisting of identical twin brothers Keith and Kevin Hodge.

In a fact check by news week, the short clip was found to lack much context. Zelenskyy’s comments came in response to a broader question about US opinion polls suggesting that a growing number of Americans believe the Biden administration is overly supportive of Ukraine.

The President of Ukraine was asked what his message would be to Americans with these concerns.

Zelensky first thanked the Americans for their support of Ukraine and said he believed that withdrawing or reducing support could hypothetically have an impact on their children should Russia win the war as a result.

“Are American children different from ours? Don’t Americans have the same things as we do?” he asked rhetorically. “I don’t think we’re very different.”

Zelensky suggested that if American support for Ukraine weakens and exhausts and Kiev loses the war against Russia, NATO members, including the US, risk being drawn into a larger conflict.

This, Zelenskyy predicted, is because “Russia will invade the Baltics and NATO member states, and then the US will have to send their sons and daughters to war, just as we send our sons and daughters.

“And they’re going to have to fight because we’re talking about NATO, and they’re going to die, God forbid, because it’s a terrible thing.”

Therefore, the clip has been removed from its important and clarifying context, giving a misleading impression of what Zelenskyi said.

His remarks were a hypothetical response to what might happen should Ukraine lose the war against Russia, partly due to less support from the United States.

The president speculated that Russia would start a major conflict with NATO’s Baltic allies and drag the US straight into a war, meaning Americans would end up sending their children to the battlefield in Europe.

Zelenskyi did not suggest that Americans should now send their children to fight for Ukraine against Russian forces.

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