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Twitter gets heated over Zelenskyy's outfit choice: 'Does he even own a suit?

Media influencers on both the right and the left broke out into heated debate over Ukraine President Volodymr Zelenskyy’s choice of attire for his trip to Washington this week.

Zelenskyy visited the White House and Congress yesterday, during which he met with President Biden and gave a televised address to Congress, asking for continued military and financial assistance against Russia's invasion.

The Ukrainian leader — who has also been named TIME's 2022 "Person of the Year" — was wearing his trademark military fatigues, in contrast to the usual suit-and-tie worn by male White House visitors.

President Joe Biden and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy meet at the White House in Washington D.C.

President Joe Biden and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy meet at the White House in Washington D.C. (Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk criticized Zelenskky for improper decorum. "If you speak in front of Congress you should wear a suit and tie. I don’t care if you are a CIA plant."

A popular liberal influencer jumped into the Twitter brawl to defend Zelenskyy. "When a dude is fighting for his life and his country under dire circumstances, I'm pretty sure nobody cares if he's wearing a suit or not. Nobody decent."

Comedian Tim Young argued that billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars for the war effort in Ukraine should at least buy a suit for the country's president. "He couldn't at least wear a suit for the people who gave him over $100 billion?"

One user asked whether Zelenskyy owns a suit in the first place. "Does he even own a suit?"

"All the little alt-right, MAGA troll boys from TPUSA et al aren't anti-Zelensky," co-founder of the left-wing Lincoln Project Rick Wilson wrote. "They're pro-Putin. Don't let their bull---- about money or respect or whether he wears a suit fool you. They want America on the other side in this war."

Commentator Peter Schiff acknowledged the ongoing war in Ukraine, but said that clothing choice still matters. "I know there's a war, but#Zelensky isn't under fire. He flew to the U.S. aboard a U.S. government private jet, arrived at the White House in a Chauffeur Driven SUV, yet showed up wearing a sweatshirt. It's better than a t-shirt, but I still maintain the proper attire is a suit."

The New York Times also reported on Zelenskyy’s intentional decision not to wear a suit during his visit to the White House and Congress. 

The outlet claimed that Zelenskyy’s "outfit offered an immediate visual reminder of the Ukrainian president’s purpose to his people, his fighters, his allies — and, not least, his foe in the Kremlin." 

Business Insider called Zelenskyy’s military-style outerwear his "signature look."to

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