Office of External Relations
December 12, 2019
A Minor Observation from today in Congress

An excerpt from one of several news items reporting Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) mocking President Zelenskyy.

My reason for circulating is set out below.

In a  striking moment , Rep.  Hank Johnson , D-Ga., claimed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looked "as if his daughter was downstairs in the basement, duct-taped" when he publicly undermined Democrats' case by declaring at the United Nations that  he felt no undue pressure  from the president to conduct any political investigations.

"The picture of President Trump and President Zelensky meeting in New York in September at the UN -- big chair for President Trump, little chair for President Zelensky. Big, 6-foot-4 President Trump, five-foot-eleven President Zelensky. ... There's an imbalance of power in that relationship," Johnson said, as some attendees laughed. Republicans, including Donald Trump Jr., responded by  mocking Johnson online  for once suggesting that the island of Guam could capsize due to overpopulation, and for  deriding Trump supporters  in highly personal terms.

"JUST IN: Democrats want to impeach the President for [checks notes] being too tall," the White House  tweeted.
People – especially the people of Ukraine -- need to know just who this Congressman is who mocked President Zelenskyy.

On March 25, 2010 during a hearing of the House Committee on Armed Services concerning a United States military installation on the island of Guam, Johnson said to Admiral Robert F. Willard , Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize", to which Admiral Willard replied, "We don't anticipate that." (While amazingly maintaining a straight face.)

Really – I am not making this up! Johnson thought the island might tip over because it is a small island and we were locating 8,000 soldiers on the island.

He should be mocking anyone? Certainly not President Zelenskyy.

Bob McConnell
Coordinator, External Relations
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Friends of Ukraine Network

Robert A. McConnell is a co-founder of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and Coordinator of External Relations for the Foundation’s Friends of Ukraine Network. He is Principal of R.A. McConnell and Associates. Previously, he has served as head of the Government Advocacy Practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Vice President – Washington for CBS, Inc, and Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice during the Reagan Administration.
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