Jayapal draws ire of fellow Democrats over bungled Ukraine letter that she apparently lied about

Jayapal draws ire of fellow Democrats over bungled Ukraine letter that she apparently lied about

The Washington Post reports:

When Russian President Vladimir Putin this summer began escalating his threat of using nuclear weapons over the United States’ aid to Ukraine, the Congressional Progressive Caucus wanted to respond.

A two-page letter to President Biden, drafted in July, was meant to reaffirm House liberals’ belief that diplomatic engagement is critical at such points of escalation to avoid nuclear war. It was not meant to push the administration to take a radically different approach to foreign policy, according to several people familiar in the letter who, like others who spoke to The Washington Post, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

But the release of the letter was delayed for months, becoming public Monday and, in turn, shocking the signatories and many in the House Democratic caucus. Absent the critical timing of Putin’s nuclear remarks, co-signers were bombarded with questions from their Democratic colleagues and constituents about why they signed on to a letter that gave the impression liberals were advocating isolationism and direct negotiations with an authoritarian leader.

At the center of the frustration is Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who was instrumental in coordinating the letter and its release, people familiar with the letter told The Post. The lack of clarity around the timing of its release particularly irked several co-signers, who said Jayapal should have communicated that and not doing so was unbecoming of a leader.

The fierce backlash led the CPC to rescind the letter Tuesday afternoon, with Jayapal accepting “responsibility for this” but blaming staffers for releasing it “without vetting.” Several Democrats, however, privately criticized Jayapal for blaming staff, noting she provided The Post with a statement about the letter upon its release Monday. [Continue reading…]

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