Everyone has different opinions about President Donald Trump, on-campus and off. Lately, there has been a controversy going around involving President Trump and the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky.
“It’s important to remember Crimea, which is part of Ukraine which was given to them by Stalin which is populated by ethnic Russia,” said Britt Cartrite, professor of political science.
“They are relatively similar but do say they are [different compared to Ukrainians].” The differences between the two ethnicities are surely known in their culture and throughout the world.
There’s more to the story though, especially involving the United States and the two countries overseas. “Russia gave support to Crimean separatists which allowed Russians to leave Ukraine. Russia allowed and sent in paramilitary troops into Eastern Ukraine and demanded the right to vote on secession,” Cartrite said.
“Ukraine also sent in their military and fought back the paramilitary organizations [and were] able to hold onto Eastern Ukraine but not Crimea. All of this was a way of saying the United States under President Barack Obama was opposed to what Russia was doing so we started giving military aid to Ukraine.”
After Obama was done with his presidential run and Trump was elected, there was uncertainty in his relations with foreign countries, especially Russia. Trump has been in several situations where he tends to deny all questions raised about his actions.
“He’s handling it the way Trump has handled every other situation by calling it fake news,” said Brendon Forster (‘21).
President Trump made a phone call to President Zelensky on Jul. 25, but the phone call did not begin being questioned in the public until recently to most people’s understanding. Trump began the phone call by congratulating Zelensky on his victory on Ukraine’s Parliamentary Elections.
After Trump congratulated Zelensky on his win, he was quick to mention how much the United States does for Ukraine and then began hinting at wanting something back.
“So, he made a phone call saying that Ukraine needed to look into the corruption in their country, but specifically Joe Biden and his son, and he also mentioned the military aid. It’s like saying ‘oh by the way’ so if, in fact, there is a quid pro quo that is illegal, but we don’t have the official phone call,” Cartrite said.
“Normally when these phone calls are made they are put on the regular intelligence server, but this one was on the confidential server, but it is not clear that there was anything confidential in the phone call. It is not clear that a crime has been yet committed, but it is in question which is what brought on the whistleblower and possibility of impeachment.”
Few details have come out that we know are for certain. “The Ukrainian’s were due to have a specific amount of military and financial aid provided, and this aid was suspended prior to the phone call,” said Derick Hulme, professor of political science. “Any argument that there was not a quid pro quo is simply ignoring the entire context and intent of the phone call. If you give us dirt on Joe Biden and his son, we will release military aid, if you don’t, we won’t.”
Many people are unsure where they fall on the issue. However, students who are actively involved in politics on campus were quick to share their thoughts and opinions on the matter.
“Trump might have messed up big here, but I think it’s too soon to say anything is definitive yet, but he broke precedent,” said Forster. “President Trump is in the wrong in the situation whether it was a quid pro quo or not. You should not ask a foreign government to try and dig up dirt on your political enemy.”
President Trump has made several questionable decisions throughout his presidency so far and this is another on the list according to many. Only time will tell what will happen with the whistleblower lawsuit and the possibility of impeachment.