'Doesn't the President of Ukraine own a suit?' Peter Schiff doubles down on BIZARRE Zelenskyy critique

'Doesn't the President of Ukraine own a suit?' Peter Schiff doubles down on BIZARRE Zelenskyy critique
President Zelenskyy was chastised by Peter Schiff (L) for not wearing a suit during his address to US legislators (Photo by Instagram/peterschiff and Twitter/Atlantic Council)

Peter Schiff, an American businessman and former Senate candidate, has doubled down on his criticism of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for not wearing a suit while addressing the US Congress. After backlash over his comment, Schiff said the Ukrainian president was wearing make-up and he might as well have worn a suit as a mark of respect for the American legislators.

Schiff, 58, made the initial remarks immediately after Zelenskyy appeared before the US Senate on March 16. Zelenskyy, in his address, made a plea to the US for more aid from his office in Kyiv, wearing a green army t-shirt, which has become his go-to military attire since Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the end of last month. Schiff had ran as a Republican for the post of US Senator from Connecticut twelve years ago.


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"I understand times are hard, but doesn't the President of #Ukraine own a suit?" Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, said. "I don't have much respect for current members of the US Congress either, but I still wouldn't address them wearing a t-shirt. I wouldn't want to disrespect the institution or the Unites (sic) States."


Quoth the Raven, a Twitter user, replied to Schiff by stating, "This is one of your worst all time takes. The guy is in the middle of a war zone ducking mortars, Peter, he's not going to be rolling around his garment rack with him. Also you spelled "United States" wrong."


Schiff, on the other hand, was undeterred, and said, "With all the replies I never even noticed that typo. He was not in combat on a battle field. Someone powdered his face. Not a hair was out of place, and he was clean shaven with a trimmed beard. He chose to wear that t-shirt. He could have easily chosen something less informal."


Amy Task, a CBS Sports analyst, was among those who condemned Schiff, saying that Zelenskyy "is fighting to save the lives of others, he is putting his life at risk to do so - he could have left but he didn't, that speaks to the man he is he is - you care about what he's wearing, that speaks to the man you are."

"It's only March, but you, sir, have just posted the dumbest thing I'll see on Twitter all year," tweeted John Law, an arts & culture writer for Niagara Falls Review, in a humorous reaction to Schiff.




In reaction to the media attention, Schiff stated that Zelenskyy's face had been powdered and that "not a hair was out of place," and that he was "clean shaven with a trimmed beard. He chose to wear that t-shirt. He could have easily chosen something less informal."


Zelenskyy spoke to Americans through Zoom earlier on Wednesday, March 16, asking them to recall the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the Twin Towers and to link them to the ongoing battle in Ukraine, where Russian forces have killed hundreds of civilians and servicemen in the last month. "Our country experiences the same every day right now - at this moment, every night, for three weeks now," Zelenskyy said. "Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people."

In an attempt to persuade members of Congress to approve a NATO-backed no-fly zone over his country, he even quoted Martin Luther King Jr, saying, "I have a dream. These words are known to each of you today. I can say I have a need — I need to protect our sky."

A movie depicting Ukrainians suffering as a result of the conflict was also presented. Zelenskyy's concluding remarks, after speaking in Ukrainian for practically the length of his speech, were in English, appealing for pro-democratic nations to unite in support of his country. "Today the Ukrainian people are defending not only Ukraine. We are fighting for the values of Europe and the world, sacrificing our lives in the name of the future," he said.


After Euro Pacific Capital, a boutique financial firm in Puerto Rico that 'helps Americans prepare for changes in the global economy that could erode the value of the dollar and US dollar-based investments,' was suspected of money laundering and tax evasion in 2020, 58-year-old Schiff was put under investigation. Schiff denied any wrongdoing and has been cleared of all accusations.

Schiff has also been politically active, campaigning against Democrat Christopher Dodd, Connecticut's longest-serving senator (1991-2011). However, in the state's Republican primary, he fell short of Linda McMahon and Rob Simmons for the most delegate votes. Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic Party's primary candidate, eventually won the election.

Irwin Schiff, Schiff's father, was a twentieth-century libertarian and tax-resistance advocate who wrote many books arguing that the United States' income tax is illegitimate and unconstitutional. He was involved in a number of legal and criminal proceedings against the federal government and died while serving a 162 month (13.5 year) jail term for knowingly providing false tax information.

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