Talk about damning with faint praise. . .
On Friday's New Day, CNN correspondent Alex Marquardt interviewed Luliia Mendel, Ukrainian President Zelensky's former spokeswoman, and asked about her tweet [since deleted after blowback] in which she said it would be a "tragedy" if Kamala Harris became president.
Mendel told Marquardt that she was referring to Harris's laughing/cackling response at her press conference with the Polish president this week when she was asked about the Ukrainian refugee crisis. Mendel explained that "it was a very bad experience to see this type of reaction—a laugh—when we were listening about one of the biggest tragedies of Ukraine right now."
Trying to soften the blow ever so slightly, Mendel, noting that Harris serves as president of the Senate and that the US has provided significant military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, said:
"Even if her communication was unappropriate [sic], probably her actions make more sense."
Translation: Kamala might not be quite as inept as her public performances make her appear. Not exactly a ringing endorsement!
Marquardt was a bit apologetic about raising the issue with Mendel, saying "I have" to ask you about it. But give him credit for doing so.
Note that before becoming Zelensky's spokeswoman, Mendel was the co-author of a New York Times article that suggested that as Obama's vice president, Joe Biden, had pressured the Ukrainian government, threatening to withhold $1 billion in aid unless the prosecutor who was looking into Burisma, the company that had paid his son Hunter big money, was removed.
On New Day, CNN correspondent Alex Marquardt about her tweet in which she wrote that it would be a "tragedy" if Kamala Harris became president was sponsored in part by Farmers Insurance, Subaru, USPS, and AT&T.
Here's the transcript.
6:21 am ET
ALEX MARQUARDT: Luliia. if you can still hear me, I have to ask you about something you wrote on Twitter. You tweeted that the presidency of Kamala Harris, if that were to happen, that would be a tragedy. You deleted that tweet. But why do you think that?
LULIIA MENDEL: I deleted that tweet because I was explained that -- I'm sorry, this is an air alert. I'm sorry -- I deleted that tweet because I was explained that Kamala Harris had this kind of [inaudible] communication when she feels uncomfortable.
But for us, for Ukrainians, it was really, it was a very bad experience to see this type of reaction—a laugh—when we were listening about one of the biggest tragedies of Ukraine right now, when so many millions of Ukrainians are turned into refugees.
However, we also understand that the United States is very united around Ukraine. And we really appreciate the support of $13.6 billion that was provided to Ukrainian army and to Ukrainian humanitarian aid.
And, in fact, Kamala Harris is the president of the Senate. So we understand that even if her communication was somehow unappropriate, probably her actions make more sense and show more than, you know, some of her communication behaviors.
MARQUARDT: Okay. Luliia Mendel, we have to leave it there. We're thankful you are safe and have gotten away from some of the fighting. We wish you and your family all the best. Thank you.
MENDEL: Thank you so much.