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Chris Christie makes surprise visit to Ukraine, meets with Zelensky

Former New Jersey governor and longshot Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie made an unannounced visit to Ukraine Friday and met with President Volodymyr Zelensky — leaving many scratching their heads as the 2024 hopeful bombs in the polls.

Christie, 60, has become the second GOP candidate for president to visit Ukraine so far, following in the footsteps of Mike Pence, who traveled to the country in June.

He began the surprise visit by laying flowers at a mass grave in Bucha, where Ukraine claimed Russian troopers committed atrocities against the civilian population, and surveying wartime destruction in Irpin.

Both towns were retaken by Ukrainian forces in March 2022 after Russian forces abandoned their plan to seize Kyiv.

Chris, a practicing Catholic, also prayed for Ukrainian volunteers who were killed by invading Russians at the beginning of the war in the village of Moshchun.

“I feel the cruelty, and you feel the inhumanity,” Christie said. “And you look at this, and I don’t think there’s anyone in our country who would come here and see this and not feel as if these are the things that America needs to stand up to prevent.”

Christie also paid a visit to a child protection center in Ukraine’s capital, before meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky at the presidential palace and pledging his support for Ukraine.

“I really suspected that if I saw this in person that it would arm me to be a better advocate for support, I think, from the stuff I saw today just now, and the meeting with the president … I think I’m much better off,” Christie said after his meeting with Zelensky.

Christie said Ukraine’s leader spoke about his desire for there to be bipartisan support for Ukraine in the US but made no comments on next year’s presidential contest.

“He was very complimentary of President Biden, some of the things that he’s advocated for, but also made clear that he thought there was more that needed to be done,” Christie said.

“There was no conversation at all from him about, you know, the race that I’m in.”

But while Zelensky didn’t discuss the 2024 race, many on social were quick to ask why Christie visited the war-torn country when he is flatlining in the polls at home.

“What legitimate purpose could his visit to Ukraine have? Serious question,” one confused voter tweeted.

But while Zelensky didn’t discuss the 2024 race, many on social were quick to ask why Christie visited the war-torn country when he is flatlining in the polls at home.

“Such a waste of resources & putting everyone in danger for no reason. Chris Christie will never be POTUS,” another chimed in.

Christie received support from just 2% of those surveyed in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll of the 2024 campaign.

The former Garden State governor’s trip highlights the stark GOP division over US support for Ukraine.

Christie’s rival presidential hopefuls, including former President Donald Trump, have called on congressional Republicans to cut off all military aid for Ukraine until the Biden Administration cooperates with their probes into the president and his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings.

The Ukraine excursion came a day after Trump, 77, returned to Washington DC to plead not guilty to federal charges accusing him of trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election in a bid to stay in power.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a distant second in the polls, earlier this year dismissed the war as nothing more than a “territorial dispute” — before backtracking and labeling Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal.

Another candidate, biotech businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, has called for an immediate end to the war and for Russia to keep its territorial gains.

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