Graham Credits Trump for Ukraine Aid, Sparks Debate

Global leaders weigh in on U.S. foreign aid strategy

by Zain ul Abedin
Graham Credits Trump for Ukraine Aid, Sparks Debate
© Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Senator Lindsey Graham, during a televised interview on Fox News this Sunday, credited former President Donald Trump with the pivotal role in passing the recent Ukraine aid package, sparking significant dialogue across political and social platforms.

In the Fox News segment, Graham enthusiastically endorsed the House's decision to allocate over $60 billion in aid to Ukraine, aimed at countering the ongoing Russian aggression that began in February 2022. The legislation notably includes about $10 billion earmarked as repayable loans, a feature Graham attributes to Trump’s influence.

"This would not have passed without President Trump," Graham asserted, also thanking House Speaker Mike Johnson and Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries for their bipartisan efforts. He emphasized, "President Trump has introduced a loan component to this package, providing us future leverage." This assertion aligns with Johnson's earlier visit this month to Trump at Mar-a-Lago, during which Trump advocated for converting some of the aid into loans.

"Instead of just gifts, we're considering loans," Trump mentioned at a press event, highlighting his preference for financial prudence in foreign aid. Trump has consistently voiced this stance, even on the campaign trail and via his posts on Truth Social, promoting a loan-based approach as a more sustainable form of aid.

"Why are we giving away nearly $100 billion as a gift? If we must, let it be a loan," he argued during a campaign rally in South Carolina.

Global Impact, Domestic Debate

The narrative of Trump’s potential influence on U.S.

foreign policy extends beyond American borders. Polish President Andrzej Duda and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán have both referenced Trump's positions recently, noting his promise to end the conflict in Ukraine swiftly and his reluctance to finance the war if re-elected.

Responses to Graham's remarks were swift and sharp on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. The "Republicans against Trump" group expressed incredulity, while political analyst Sarah Reese Jones labeled it a "Propaganda Alert." Ron Filipkowski, a former federal prosecutor and Trump critic, lamented the apparent loss of integrity among some Republicans.

The broader implications of the aid package include significant economic support, with the legislation outlining a structured repayment plan. It also grants the President discretion to cancel up to 50% of the loan post-November 2024, with a full debt cancellation potential by January 2026.

This legislative development has triggered a spectrum of reactions, ranging from skepticism over the repayment of the loans to broader geopolitical concerns regarding U.S. commitments to other allies, including Taiwan and Israel.