Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had no conversations with the White House after a trove of classified US intelligence documents were posted on social media, he told The Washington Post Monday.
In an interview with the Post, Zelensky said he learned about the Pentagon leak through news coverage and claimed he “did not receive information from the White House or the Pentagon beforehand.”
“We did not have that information. I personally did not. It’s definitely a bad story,” he said, calling it “unprofitable” for Ukraine, as well as “also not beneficial to the reputation of the White House, and I believe it is not beneficial to the reputation of the United States.”
A US official told CNN, “We are in constant communication with our Ukrainian counterparts about a range of issues, including over the unauthorized disclosures, but we aren’t going to get into the details of those private discussions.”
Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said Tuesday he couldn’t speak to Zelensky’s claims, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “conducted a large number of phone calls” to allies and partners, including to Austin’s Ukrainian counterpart, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.
“I don’t want to speak for President Zelensky. … The United States, the Department of Defense, we remain committed to working very closely with Ukraine and our international allies and partners to ensure that they have the security assistance they need to be able to defend their country and take back their sovereign territory,” Ryder said.
The documents allegedly leaked by 21-year-old Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira appeared to catch the Biden administration flat-footed, disclosing a blunt US intelligence assessment of the war in Ukraine, as well as details revealing US intelligence collection on allies.
Read more here.