Freddy Gray Freddy Gray

Can Trump’s opponents prove him wrong on Ukraine?

Photo-illustration: Coral Hoeren (Getty)

Boris Johnson, Britain’s most sought-after Churchill impersonator, visited Texas on Monday to urge a group of rich right-wing Americans to never, never, never give in to Vladimir Putin. ‘I just urge you all to stick with it,’ Agent Bojo told a private lunch of conservative politicians and donors in Dallas. ‘You are backing the right horse. Ukraine is going to win.’

Johnson wasn’t paid to speak at the lunch, though it’s worth noting that he only stopped over in Texas on the way to the SCALE Fintech conference in Las Vegas, where he is expected to receive a six-figure sum for talking about the future of innovation alongside Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US. Nobody said freedom was free.

The popularity of Trump’s give-peace-or-is-it-Putin-a-chance message has candidates scrambling

Johnson promised his Texan lunching companions that there is ‘every hope that the Ukrainians will be able to deliver a very substantial counterpunch this summer’ and mooted the ‘prospect of a complete Russian military collapse’. It’s very important for Johnson and the Atlanticist pro-Ukraine lobby he represents to get that point across, especially as next year’s presidential election is starting to take shape.

Under the ambiguous leadership of President Joe Biden, the US has spent more than $70 billion helping Ukraine – far more than Britain and Europe combined. As the bills tot up, and as America’s military involvement shifts from covert to overt, a lot of Americans are beginning to wonder: is the war worth it?

Polls suggest that support for Ukraine is starting to ebb among all sections of the electorate, though Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to voice concern. A recent study found that 50 per cent of Republicans think the current level of US military expenditure on Ukraine is ‘too much’, compared with just 13 per cent of Democrats. Only 25 per cent of Republicans think the US should ‘stay the course’ for ‘as long as it takes’, whereas 51 per cent of Democrats say the same.

Everybody knows who is most likely to win the Republican nomination and what he thinks.

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