Video call

Democrats slam senators after sharing photos from video call with Ukrainian president

Two Republican senators have been slammed for endangering the safety of Volodymyr Zelensky after posting photos during a live video call between US lawmakers and the Ukrainian president on Saturday – after politicians were specifically warned not to refrain from sharing information that could compromise its security.

Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Steve Daines of Montana posted photos of Zelensky to their respective Twitter accounts while the Zoom meeting was underway.

Zelensky, who bravely remained in Kyiv as Vladimir Putin’s forces marched towards the capital and bombarded many other Ukrainian cities, survived three assassination attempts by mercenaries from the Kremlin-backed Wagner Group and special forces Chechens, according to The Sunday Times.

The more than 280 senators, House members and staff who tuned in to the virtual meeting, which ended around 10:25 a.m. EST, were explicitly asked not to tweet or post photos of the call while was in progress, several aides told NBC News.

‘[The] The Ukrainian Ambassador very intentionally asked each of us on Zoom NOT to share anything on social media during the meeting to protect the safety of President Zelensky,’ Rep. Dean Phillips, a Democrat from Minnesota, tweeted. .

“The appalling and reckless ignorance of two American senators.”

Marco Rubio from Florida

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida (R) (tweet pictured left) and Senator Steve Daines of Montana (R) (tweet pictured right) posted footage from a Zoom call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Saturday morning, despite being specifically told not to. do this until the end of the meeting for security reasons

Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R)

Montana Senator Steve Daines (right)

Florida Senator Marco Rubio (left) and Montana Senator Steve Daines (left) released photos from a conference with the Ukrainian president

The more than 280 senators, House members and staff who watched the virtual meeting (pictured), which ended around 10:25 a.m. EST

The more than 280 senators, House members and staff who watched the virtual meeting (pictured), which ended around 10:25 a.m. EST

Democratic representatives including Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes (tweet pictured) posted footage from the Zoom call - but did so after the meeting ended

Democratic representatives including Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes (tweet pictured) posted footage from the Zoom call – but did so after the meeting ended

Ukraine's president (pictured on the front lines) admitted he knew he was Russia's biggest target.  The Wagner Group - which has 400 people in kyiv alone - and the Chechens tried to kill it last week

Ukraine’s president (pictured on the front lines) admitted he knew he was Russia’s biggest target. The Wagner Group – which has 400 people in kyiv alone – and the Chechens tried to kill it last week

Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat from Colorado, also slammed Republican senators for sharing screenshots of the call.

“The lack of discipline in Congress is truly staggering,” he tweeted.

“If a beleaguered warlord asks you to keep quiet about a meeting, you better keep quiet about the meeting. I’m not saying anything. Lives are at stake.

The call was coordinated with the offices of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) of New York and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky, as well as the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, a source said. assistant to the Democratic leadership.

Democratic Representatives Dean Phillips of Minnesota called Rubio and Daines' tweets a

Democratic Representatives Dean Phillips of Minnesota called Rubio and Daines’ tweets ‘appalling and reckless’

Democratic Rep. James Crow of Colorado lashed out at the two Republican senators on Twitter

Democratic Rep. James Crow of Colorado lashed out at the two Republican senators on Twitter

Rubio and Daines defended their decisions to share the photos, both calling the outcry “partisan”.

“There were over 160 members of Congress on a widely broadcast Zoom call,” a spokesperson for Rubio said in a statement. “There was no identifying information of any kind.”

A spokesperson for Daines said his tweet, which was posted about 23 minutes into the hour-long Zoom meeting, was “shared for the duration of the call…before it was asked not to” and contained “no identifying information”.

“We should focus on what is important here and who supports Ukraine,” Daines’ spokesman added.

Several Democratic representatives, including Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes, also released footage from the call – however, they waited until the meeting was over.

Since the conflict began on February 24, Zelensky (pictured) has been posting videos to his official Instagram account, directly appealing to the world for supplies and help.

Since the conflict began on February 24, Zelensky (pictured) has been posting videos to his official Instagram account, directly appealing to the world for supplies and help.

A flood of comments from Twitter users, like the one above, demanded that the social media platform remove the senators' tweets

A flood of comments from Twitter users, like the one above, demanded that the social media platform remove the senators’ tweets

Himes tweeted that Zelensky “is strong, but pleaded for more help.” Planes, oil embargo, continued military aid,” adding that “we were asked not to post while zooming. This was posted long after.

Republicans have also called out senators, with former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele taking to Twitter to specifically condemn Rubio.

‘Dude, what’s wrong with you? You are the Vice Chairman of the Intelligence Select Committee and a member of the Foreign Relations Committee,” Steele wrote.

“You have been specifically asked NOT to share this briefing with Zelensky. Why would you risk his safety for a tweet?

A flood of comments from Twitter users demanding that the social media platform remove senators’ tweets rocked Rubio on Saturday afternoon.

During the call, Zelensky called for a no-fly zone over Ukrainian airspace to be imposed on Russian-made planes, multiple sources told NBC. Earlier on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that any move to create such a no-fly zone would be considered “participation” in the conflict.

Schumer reportedly told Zelensky that Congress would “quickly” get $10 billion in economic, humanitarian and security aid for the people of Ukraine.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia (D) asked about the possibility of a Russian oil ban, a move raised on Friday by Cecilia Rouse, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Zelensky also asked about the imposition of sanctions to prevent Russia from using Visa and Mastercard. Both companies blocked some Russian financial services from using their networks earlier this week, but not all.

Republicans have also called out senators, with former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele taking to Twitter to condemn their actions.

Republicans have also called out senators, with former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele taking to Twitter to condemn their actions.

At around 6pm EST on Saturday, hours after the Zoom meeting with US officials, Zelensky posted video of another meeting with Elon Musk (pictured) which appeared to have been filmed at the same location

At around 6pm EST on Saturday, hours after the Zoom meeting with US officials, Zelensky posted video of another meeting with Elon Musk (pictured) which appeared to have been filmed at the same location

Since the conflict began on February 24, Zelensky has posted videos to his official Instagram account directly appealing to the world for supplies and aid, and has been photographed in military gear on the front lines by Reuters and d other media.

Around 6 p.m. EST on Saturday, hours after the Zoom meeting with US officials, Zelensky posted video of another meeting with Elon Musk that appeared to have been filmed at the same location.

“I spoke to Elon Musk,” Zelensky wrote in Ukrainian. “He thanked Ukraine for their support in words and deeds. Next week we will receive another batch of Starlink systems for destroyed cities.

“They also talked about possible space projects and a visit to Ukraine. But about that… after the war.

Musk, 50, sent a collection of antennae to Ukraine this week after their president expressed concern that Ukrainians could lose internet access if Russia continues to attack communications towers, as it has did with the bombing of a television tower in kyiv on Wednesday.