Ukraine Aid Divides Republicans, After Trump Tones Down His Resistance

The House vote on Saturday to provide $61 billion in American aid to Ukraine was the clearest sign yet that at least on foreign policy, the Republican Party is not fully aligned with former President Donald J. Trump and his “America First” movement.

But more Republicans voted against the aid than for it, showing just how much Mr. Trump’s broad isolationism — and his movement’s antipathy to Ukraine — has divided the G.O.P. in an election year.

Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the third time, had actually soft-pedaled his opposition to Ukraine aid in recent days as the dam began to break on the House Republican blockade. He stood by Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana, who assembled the complicated aid packages for Ukraine, Israel and America’s Asian allies, and against threatened efforts to bring down Mr. Johnson’s speakership and plunge the House back into chaos. And he stayed quiet on Saturday, declining to pressure Republicans to vote no.

But few issues have been more central to the former president’s creed than his foreign policy isolationism, his call for Europe to raise military spending in its own backyard, and his foreign policy shift toward Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia.

House Speaker Mike Johnson after the House passed the foreign aid bills for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.Credit…Haiyun Jiang for The New York Times

Though he has in recent days stayed quiet, his most vociferous allies in the House, such as Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida, had led efforts to block the aid. Another pro-Trump firebrand, Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado, jeered Democrats during the vote as they waived Ukrainian flags on the House floor.

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