Candace Owens has taken aim at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, calling him a “mobster” and “ultimate criminal” in a disparaging Twitter post.
Conservative commentator Owens has been a frequent critic of Zelensky, ramping up her attacks on the president since Russia embarked on its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022. In one of her attacks, Owens called Zelensky a “fraud.”
The Candace host has previously accused Zelensky of “stealing from our people,” referring to U.S. aid sent to Ukraine amid the nation’s ongoing war with Russia.
On Thursday, Owens voiced her disapproval of Zelensky once again, tweeting: “Zelensky is the ultimate criminal. A literal mobster with an unlimited budget. Most western civilians are too media-propagandized to see it. This tweet will age well.”
One Twitter user responded to Owens’ post by calling Zelensky “a money laundering machine for our corrupt government actors.”
Responding to the statement in a quote tweet, Owens wrote: “Accurate.”
Owens didn’t provide any context or evidence to support her claims about the Ukrainian leader, who ran for president in 2019 on an anti-corruption and anti-establishment platform. In January of this year, he vowed a zero tolerance policy on governmental corruption—which has been a long-running issue in Ukraine—after several of the nation’s officials resigned from their positions.
Newsweek has reached out to Zelensky’s office via email for comment.
Back in March, Owens shared misleading video footage of Zelensky on her Daily Wire show as she spoke about her desire to punch him “in the face.”
The TV and social media personality played a seconds-long clip that she described as showing Zelensky “warning you of what will happen if you stop funding his lifestyle.”
In the clip Owens shared, Zelensky was heard saying: “The U.S. will have to send their sons and daughters exactly the same way as we are sending our sons and daughters to war. And they will have to fight because it’s nature that we’re talking about. And they will be dying, God forbid, because it’s a horrible thing.”
“Oof,” Owens said in reaction to the video. “I am not going to say that I’d like to punch Zelensky in the face, because that’s violent. But I am saying that if I could get away with punching one person in the face and have no consequences, it would be President Zelensky.
“I can’t even tell you how much, oof, I harbor for him. The audacity to tell you that the consequence is going to be that your sons and daughters are going to fight and die if you don’t help him secure a win against Russia. Wow. That’s bold. But why shouldn’t he be feeling bold? He’s got, he’s got our congressmen waving the Ukrainian flag in our chambers, right. In our congressional chambers.”
The brief clip of Zelensky speaking was taken from the Ukrainian president’s lengthy February 24 press conference, which was held to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.
The video footage went viral on social media in late February, with many suggesting it showed the Ukrainian leader calling on people in the U.S. to send their children to fight in Ukraine.
It was shared on Twitter by The Hodgetwins, also known as the Conservative Twins. The Hodgetwins are an American stand-up comedy and conservative political commentary duo of identical twin brothers Keith and Kevin Hodge.
In a fact check conducted by Newsweek, it was found that the short clip was missing a lot of context. Zelensky’s remarks were in response to a wider question about opinion polls in the U.S. that indicate a growing number of Americans believe the Biden administration is providing too much support to Ukraine.
Ukraine’s president was asked about what his message would be to Americans with those concerns.
Zelensky began by thanking Americans for showing support to Ukraine, and said he believed withdrawing or decreasing support could hypothetically have an impact on their children, should Russia win the war as a result.
“Are American children any different from ours? Don’t Americans enjoy 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 weakened and depleted, and Kyiv went on to lose the war against Russia, NATO members, including the U.S., risk being dragged into a bigger conflict.
“Russia is going to enter Baltic states, NATO member states, and then the U.S. will have to send their sons and daughters, exactly the same way as we are sending our sons and daughters, to war,” Zelensky said. “And they will have to fight because it’s NATO that we’re talking about and they will be dying, God forbid, because it’s a horrible thing.”