People Are Appalled At 2 U.S. Senators For Tweeting These Pics Of Ukraine's President
The screenshots did not go over well at all.
U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Steve Daines (R-Montana) are facing public criticism after tweeting screenshots from a Zoom meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday, March 5. According to NBC News, President Zelenskyy spoke with more than 280 U.S. government officials in a virtual meeting, during which lawmakers were told not to share any photos of the proceedings for security purposes. So, when Marco Rubio and Steve Daines shared screenshots of President Zelenskyy’s meeting on Twitter, they incited backlash, and led Twitter users to demand the platform remove the tweets to protect Zelenskyy’s safety.
Elite Daily reached out to reps for both Rubio and Daines for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Apparently live-tweeting in real time on the morning of March 5, Sen. Rubio tweeted, “On zoom call now with President Zelensky of #Ukraine.” Likewise, Sen. Daines also tweeted about the call: “Currently on a zoom call with President Zelenskyy. #StandWithUkraine️.” It’s not clear why the GOP senators shared screenshots of the call, but according to Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minnesota), who said in a tweet he was on the same call, the images were apparently shared in direct opposition to instructions that were given during the virtual meeting with the Ukrainian leader.
“Ukrainian ambassador very intentionally asked each of us on the Zoom to NOT share anything on social media during the meeting to protect the security of President Zelenskyy,” Phillips tweeted on March 5. “Appalling and reckless ignorance by two U.S. Senators.”
Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colorado) also took to Twitter on March 5 to criticize the tweets featuring screenshots of Zelenskyy. “The lack of discipline in Congress is truly astounding,” Crow tweeted. “If an embattled wartime leader asks you to keep quiet about a meeting, you better keep quiet about the meeting. I’m not saying a damn thing. Lives are at stake.”
Twitter users also found the tweets to be potentially dangerous given the increased need for security around Zelenskyy since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. Many users sounded off, calling on Twitter to remove Rubio’s and Daines’ tweets to protect Zelenskyy during the crisis. Some users called for Rubio’s and Daines’ actions to be investigated.
Former Lt. Governor of Maryland and conservative political commentator Michael Steele shared his thoughts on the screenshots and questioned why U.S. lawmakers would risk the safety of Zelenskyy. “Dude, what the hell is wrong with you?,” Steele wrote in response to Rubio’s tweet. “You are the Vice Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, and a Member of the Foreign Relations Committee. You were specifically asked NOT to share this briefing with Zelensky. Why would you risk his safety for a tweet?”
Zelenskyy has remained in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began, and on Feb. 25, the Ukrainian president said in an address to the nation that Russia had its sights on the leader. “The enemy has marked me as target number one, my family as target number two,” Zelenskyy said, per The Wall Street Journal. Given the high security risk and the reported instructions from the Ukrainian ambassador on the call to refrain from sharing anything about the meeting on social media, people on Twitter couldn’t understand why the screenshots were shared.
As of March 6, Rubio’s and Daines’ March 5 tweets containing the screenshots have over 1,000 comments that criticize their decision to share such information. Some users called that their actions should be reprimanded.
Both tweets by Rubio and Daines are currently still published on Twitter at the time of publication on Sunday, March 6.