Biden meets with Pelosi, Democrats from Ukraine trip
President Biden is meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other members of a congressional delegation that traveled to Ukraine earlier this month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday.
Biden, who had previously spoken by phone with Pelosi about her trip, met privately with the lawmakers in the Situation Room on Tuesday afternoon.
“He wanted to hear a more thorough account of their time in Ukraine in person after they returned to the United States,” Psaki said at a press briefing.
“The president is eager to hear from them and to continue working on their shared bipartisan goal of providing Ukraine with additional urgently needed security and economic assistance as soon as possible,” she said.
Pelosi and several other Democratic lawmakers, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), traveled to Ukraine at the beginning of the month. The group met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and also traveled to Poland.
“The purpose of our going was always about the security of our country, the security of democracy in the world,” Pelosi told reporters at the White House following the meeting with Biden.
She said that the lawmakers spoke to Biden about their meeting with Zelensky and Polish President Andrzej Duda. The lawmakers also said the group discussed sanctions imposed on Russia over the war.
“There will be more sanctions coming,” Meeks told reporters. “We want to make sure that there’s no way around and no way to get out of sanctions and avoiding sanctions.”
The Democrats met with Zelensky more than two months after Russia launched its military attack on Ukraine. Congress has allocated billions in funding to support Ukraine’s efforts to repel the Russian attacks. Lawmakers are expected to quickly move on another package of nearly $40 billion in security, economic and humanitarian funding requested by the White House.
Pelosi’s trip preceded a visit over the weekend by first lady Jill Biden to Ukraine, where she met with her Ukrainian counterpart, Olena Zelenska. The trip was kept under wraps for security reasons until Jill Biden entered the country on Sunday, which was Mother’s Day.
The first lady’s trip has revived questions about whether President Biden would himself travel to Ukraine. White House officials have previously cast doubt on the possibility due to security reasons.
“There’s not a trip currently planned. But, again, he would love to go to Ukraine. I just don’t have anything planned or anything to preview at this point,” Psaki told reporters Monday when asked about a potential Biden trip to the country.
—Updated at 6:37 p.m.
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