Trump shocked Ukrainian leader with his 'disconcerting' question during White House meeting: new book
Meeting of the President of the United States Donald Trump with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in New York. (Drop of Light /

Donald Trump displayed shocking ignorance of current events in Ukraine during an Oval Office meeting with the nation's then-president.

The former president asked his national security adviser if U.S. troops were in Ukraine's Donbas region during the 2017 meeting with the country's former president Petro Poroshenko, according to an excerpt from a new book by then-U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch published by The Guardian.

“An affirmative answer to that question would have meant that the United States was in a shooting war with Russia," Yovanovitch wrote. “I pondered whether it was better to interpret Trump’s question as suggesting that the commander-in-chief thought it possible that U.S. troops were fighting Russia-led forces, or instead as an indicator that the president wasn’t clear which country was on the other side of the war against Ukraine."

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“Either way, it was disconcerting that he did not seem to know where we had our troops – his troops – deployed. I could only imagine what the Ukrainians were thinking,” she added.

Yovanovitch, who Trump fired in 2019 as part of the saga for which he was later impeached, was alarmed by the president's ignorance and could barely imagine what the Ukrainians present thought about his lack of understanding.

“Everyone kept a poker face on,” she wrote.

Trump also told Poroshenko that his nation “was a corrupt country, which he knew because a Ukrainian friend at Mar-a-Lago had told him," and he also insisted that “Crimea was Russian, as the locals spoke Russian."

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