Marjorie Taylor Greene doesn't applaud Zelensky's speech, checks phone

Moment Marjorie Taylor Greene doesn’t applaud Zelensky’s speech and reaches for her cell phone – while Madison Cawthorn misses HALF the remarks and says ’emotion shouldn’t guide foreign policy’

  • Greene and Cawthorn are among a small minority of Republican lawmakers advocating against any US involvement in helping Ukraine against Russia
  • Both voted against a $13.6B package to Kyiv that Biden signed into law Tuesday
  • Georgia lawmaker Greene claimed the US was funding ‘neo-Nazis’ in Ukraine
  • Cawthorn has previously disparaged Zelensky as a ‘thug’ and his officials as ‘evil’
  • Zelensky addressed Congress on Wednesday morning to plead for a no-fly zone, or at least more planes and defensive equipment for Ukraine to create its own 
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky‘s impassioned speech to Congress on Wednesday morning left most lawmakers in the chamber in awe of his bravery and some were even nearly reduced to tears — but two Republican firebrands seemed largely unaffected. 

    Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) was spotted checking her phone while her colleagues gave Zelensky a standing ovation ahead of his remarks. 

    Meanwhile Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) missed that portion altogether, along with most of the Ukrainian president’s speech, according to the New York Times. 

    Though after the brief portion he attended, the freshman lawmaker declared ’emotion shouldn’t guide foreign policy’ despite the majority of his caucus calling for more weapons and aid to be sent to Kyiv

    Greene and Cawthorn, who both took office in 2021, have been among the minority of Republican lawmakers who have called for less US involvement in Ukraine’s resistance to a Russian invasion.  

    ‘Emotion should never guide our foreign policy. The United States must be extraordinarily careful to implement logical, rational foreign policy that tactfully strengthens the Ukrainian people while simultaneously putting America first,’ Cawthorn told the Times after Zelensky’s speech.

    The North Carolina congressman was caught on video earlier this month disparaging Zelensky as a ‘thug’ and calling his democratically-elected government ‘corrupt’ and ‘evil.’








    Nearly every lawmaker in Congress stood up to applaud Ukrainian President Zelensky when he appeared via video link on Wednesday morning. Greene (right, brown dress) can be seen keeping her hands still while her colleagues applaud

    Nearly every lawmaker in Congress stood up to applaud Ukrainian President Zelensky when he appeared via video link on Wednesday morning. Greene (right, brown dress) can be seen keeping her hands still while her colleagues applaud

    At one point she bent down to check her phone, apparently uninterested in joining fellow lawmakers' praise

    At one point she bent down to check her phone, apparently uninterested in joining fellow lawmakers’ praise 

    Greene, however, appears to have attended the entire speech. 

    Shortly before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) brief introduction to Ukraine’s leader, he appeared via videolink and was welcomed by enthusiastic applause from nearly the entire chamber.  

    The outspoken Georgia Republican stood along with the other lawmakers but instead of clapping, reached for her phone. 

    Greene engaged on a Twitter rant on Tuesday night, accusing the US and NATO of funding ‘neo-Nazis’ in Ukraine.  

    Her claims are centered around a nationalist paramilitary group based in Ukraine called the Azov Battalion. 

    The fringe group, which has no widespread influence over Ukraine’s multi-ethnic society led by a Jewish president, has fueled Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s claims that he is attacking the country to rid it of ‘Nazi’ rule. 

    Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who previously called Zelensky a 'thug,' only came into the chamber toward the end of the speech

    Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who previously called Zelensky a ‘thug,’ only came into the chamber toward the end of the speech

    Azov was absorbed into Ukraine’s National Guard in 2014, when the country’s then-underfunded and inadequately trained military sought the help of militia groups to fight off Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donbas region.

    ‘Democrats have been calling Republicans, President Trump, and his supporters Nazis since 2015. But the Dems have been funding *actual* Nazis since the Obama/Biden administration. Funding to neo-Nazis in Ukraine only stopped under President Trump,’ Greene tweeted on Tuesday night.

    She pointed out that the US and Ukraine both voted against a resolution criticizing the glorification of Nazism at the United Nations. American diplomats had explained they voted down the resolution over concerns it would limit free speech protected by the Constitution.

    Greene also brought up the $1.5 trillion government funding bill that President Joe Biden signed into law on Tuesday.

    She incorrectly stated that the package, which included nearly $14 billion in humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine, only contained cash for ‘lethal’ aid.

    ‘Last week, Congress voted to fund Ukraine with $13.6 BILLION in lethal aid. How much U.S. taxpayer cash will end up in the hands of the neo-Nazis in Ukraine?’ Greene questioned.

    Her final explosive tweet was that NATO was directly supplying ‘neo-Nazis in Ukraine’ with weapons and training.  

    ‘And to top it all off, NATO has been supplying the neo-Nazis in Ukraine with powerful weapons and extensive training on how to use them. What the hell is going with these #NATONazis?’ 

    She added a link to a Belarusian media outlet called NEXTA, which shared images of Ukrainian fighters being trained with grenade launchers. At least one person pictured had the Azov Battalion’s patch on his shoulder.

    ‘A shipment of NLAW grenade launchers and instructors from #NATO countries arrived in #Kharkiv. The Azov regiment was the first to learn about new weaponry.

    Right-wing think tank Atlantic Council once accused NEXTA of ‘occasionally spread[ing] misinformation that appeared credible at face value but turned out to be inaccurate.’

    Zelensky’s Wednesday morning speech was widely lauded by lawmakers, who commended him on Ukraine’s impressive resistance against a much larger and better-equipped Russian military. 

    He referenced infamous American tragedies like Pearl Harbor and the September 11 terror attacks to hammer home the scope of the devastation his country is grappling with as Putin’s invasion continues for a third week.  

    ‘Our country experiences the same every day,’ Zelensky said.

    Zelensky made an impassioned plea for more US aid during his emotional address, invoking comparisons to Pearl Harbor, September 11 and Martin Luther King Jr. 'Right now, this moment, every night for three weeks, in various Ukrainian cities, Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people. Russian troops have fired 1000 missiles at Ukraine. They use drones to kill us with precision,' he said

    Zelensky made an impassioned plea for more US aid during his emotional address, invoking comparisons to Pearl Harbor, September 11 and Martin Luther King Jr. ‘Right now, this moment, every night for three weeks, in various Ukrainian cities, Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people. Russian troops have fired 1000 missiles at Ukraine. They use drones to kill us with precision,’ he said








    ‘Right now, this moment, every night for three weeks, in various Ukrainian cities, Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people. Russian troops have fired 1000 missiles at Ukraine. They use drones to kill us with precision.’

    The wartime president also invoked Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech to reiterate his request for a no-fly zone over Ukraine — something US and NATO officials have repeatedly ruled out over fears of a direct confrontation with Russia escalating into World War III.

    ‘If this is too much to ask, we offer an alternative,’ he said of the no-fly zone.

    ‘You know what kind of defense systems we need. You know how much depends on the ability to use aircraft to protect our people, our freedom. aircraft that can help Ukraine, help Europe.’

    He continued, ‘I have a dream. I have a need. I need to protect our skies. I need your help, which means the same you feel when you hear the words I have a dream.’

    Zelensky ended with a direct appeal to Biden and the US’s traditional role as leader of the free world.

    On Tuesday night Greene engaged in a tirade on Twitter where she accused the US and NATO of funding Nazis in Ukraine, apparently referencing the nationalist fringe group the Azov Battalion. The neo-Nazi group has been fighting Russia alongside Ukraine's defense forces but has no widespread influence over its government

    On Tuesday night Greene engaged in a tirade on Twitter where she accused the US and NATO of funding Nazis in Ukraine, apparently referencing the nationalist fringe group the Azov Battalion. The neo-Nazi group has been fighting Russia alongside Ukraine’s defense forces but has no widespread influence over its government 

    ‘In the end, to be the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace. Peace in your country does not depend only on you and your people. It depends on those next to you, on those who are strong,’ he concluded. 

    Combat veteran and Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) acknowledged the speech made her emotional, adding ‘it makes me want to throw on my uniform and go help.’ 

    Pelosi said on the House floor following the remarks, ‘In the face of Russia’s cruel and unprovoked invasion, the President’s fearless, heroic leadership has rallied his nation and inspired the entire world. And our Members were very moved by his powerful remarks today — as well as the heart-wrenching footage he shared showing Putin’s inhumane terror, brutally committing war crimes against children.’

    Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) called on the Biden administration to ramp up its aid to Ukraine.

    ‘President Zelensky challenged our nation that if you want to be a leader of the world you have to be the leader of peace. But, you can’t obtain peace if you are leading from behind — we need President Biden and Europe to step up and lead,’ he said during a press conference after the speech.

    His fellow Kansas Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said Zelensky’s address was ‘a powerful and moving reminder that the United States must continue to take action to aid Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s unprovoked attack, assist refugees fleeing Ukraine, support our NATO allies and make certain Vladimir Putin pays for his aggression.’