Christie visits Zelenskyy, takes shot at Trump during surprise Ukraine trip

The GOP presidential candidate and former governor met with Zelenksyy and visited towns affected by the war, including the once-Russian-occupied city of Bucha. 

Chris Christie lays flowers at the Wall of Remembrance to pay tribute to killed Ukrainian soldiers, in Kyiv. | Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo


08/04/2023 11:54 AM EDT

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Friday to visit President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and reaffirm his support of the United States’ funding efforts for the country.

The trip marked Christie’s first time to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion last year and made him the second GOP presidential candidate to visit the nation. Former Vice President Mike Pence visited in June.

On the trip Friday, Christie met with Zelenskyy and visited towns affected by the war, including the once-Russian-occupied city of Bucha, a Christie spokesperson confirmed to POLITICO.

Zelenskyy posted a photo of himself shaking hands with Christie on X, formerly known as Twitter, Friday. 

“And it is very important that Mr. Christie began his visit to Ukraine with a visit to Bucha to see with his own eyes the threat to freedom and to everyone in the world posed by Russian aggression,” Zelenskyy said in the tweet. “I thanked all Americans, each and every one, for their vital support.”

Chris Christie shakes hands with Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Zelenskyy’s office posted a photo of the pair shaking hands on social media. | Ukrainian Presidential Press Office

Christie, in a tweet after the visit, said it was an honor to see firsthand “the heroism Ukrainians have displayed in their fight against Russia.”

“America has never moved forward by ignoring the rest of the world. We can’t start now,” Christie said in the tweet.

Christie has been supportive of the United States’ alliance with Ukraine, saying last month that the U.S. “should be able to provide [Ukraine] with the hardware they need to be able to fight off an awful Russian invasion.” 

Other Republican presidential candidates, such as former President Donald Trump, say the United States should slow its financial support. The United States has sent over $75 billion in humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine since the start of the war.

“Congress should refuse to authorize a single additional shipment of our depleted weapons stockpiles … to Ukraine until the FBI, DOJ and IRS hand over every scrap of evidence they have on the Biden Crime Family’s corrupt business dealings,” Trump said at a rally last weekend, according to The Washington Post

In an interview with The Washington Post while in Ukraine, Christie took a shot at Trump, who pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges accusing him of plotting to overturn the 2020 election. Christie said he hoped Republican voters will think about which candidates have the bandwidth to address “the really complicated issues that the next president will have to deal with” — including Ukraine — “and who is going to be dealing with trying to keep themselves out of jail.”

But Christie said Zelenskyy was less interested in weighing in on the 2024 race. 

“There was no conversation from [Zelenskyy] about the race that I’m in,” Christie said, according to The New York Times. He said Zelenskyy told him, “Whoever the next president is, I need to have that person feel a partnership with Ukraine.”

A New York Times/Siena College poll this week showed Christie falling far behind Trump, who had 54 percent of likely Republican voters surveyed supporting him. Christie had 2 percent of likely voters surveyed supporting him.

“I will tell everyone at home what I saw here,” Christie told the mayor as he left Bucha, according to The Washington Post. “Stay strong.”


  1. There are three candidates who could beat Biden and would also improve Ukraine’s situation: Pence, Haley and CC.
    I usually dislike smarmy lawyers who enter politics; they are usually a disaster, eg Tony Blair, Kier Starmer, the Clintons, Obama, Giuiliani etc.
    But CC is an exception. He has the ability to take down Trump in debate. Pence is too dignified and low energy and Haley lacks gravitas.
    But unfortunately they are polling at rock bottom; way behind the three leaders; all of whom are utter trash.
    Doesn’t Biden realise that if he gave Ukraine what they need to win right now, he would be able to bask in reflected glory and probably get re-elected?

    • People should not mix foreign policy with politics. When we focus on Ukraine, Ukraine wins. When we focus on politics, Ukraine loses half of their support. Is that what we want?
      Well, that’s what we’re doing. You’ll notice this is NOT a political statement.

      • Foreign policy IS politics.
        Russia is doubling its war budget to one third of its total output. The threat to Ukraine just went from enormous to off the scale.
        Trump’s Ukraine policy is crystal clear. It will be beyond catastrophic if he gets hold of power again.
        If there was another great power that could step in and replace America’s role in the event of a Trump victory, it would be ok, but there isn’t.
        Ramaswamy would be as terrible as Trump btw. So would RFK Jr.
        DeSantis would also be terrible, but does hint that he might be open to persuasion. I doubt it though.
        Just when putler should be in despair, Trump gives him the encouragement to carry on. The genocidal Nazis who appear nightly on putler TV all LOVE “nashi Trumpushka.” You should watch Julia Davis.

        “Putin is likely counting on Trump or another Republican to win the 2024 election in hopes that the US will cut support to Ukraine, officials say” :

        “The election next year complicates things because the Russians think they have a light at the end of the tunnel. It encourages Putin to think that they can outlast the Americans because political support for Ukraine will be compromised if Trump wins,” Daniel Fried, a former US ambassador to Poland, told CNN.”

      • Wow, you have said something not in support of Trump.
        Should I call a doctor? How is your temperature. How do you feel?

        I am worried about you as I never expected this to ever happen.

        If I were you, I would immediately delete your comment, otherwise Trump might break up with you and that would be sad.

  2. Christie, Nikki, Pence … we have some good, decent people running for president. Why are the asshole candidates so popular with the American people? Are they maybe on drugs?

Enter comments here: