Peter Schiff faced significant backlash Wednesday on Twitter for posting a tweet suggesting that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who delivered an address to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, should have worn a suit instead of a t-shirt.
"I understand times are hard, but doesn't the President of the #Ukraine own a suit? I don't have much respect for current members of the U.S. Congress either, but I still wouldn't address them wearing a t-shirt. I wouldn't want to disrespect the institution or the Unites States," wrote Schiff, an economic and financial pundit who hosts "The Peter Schiff Show" podcast. Schiff is the chief economist and global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital.
Zelenskyy's address, and Schiff's comment about the man's attire, came as Russia continues to brutally bombard Ukraine, killing many, including civilians.
Schiff, who faced heavy pushback on social media, defended his comments.
"Peter, I agree with you on countless issues, but the guy is in the midst of war....I think it’s understandable and acceptable. Few in our congress would go to the frontlines of war...." one person tweeted.
"If he was speaking live from a foxhole I would agree. But this was a planned historic event. He was not under fire. It makes no sense that he could not have dressed in something more formal than a t-shirt," Schiff replied.
"Dude, not only is he in a war-zone, where I'm sure it's hard to get a suit press and dry clean, but even if it was possible, it's favorable for people to see him as one of them sharing the struggle," someone else commented.
Schiff replied, "He would not have had to press a suit. I'm sure he had a clean suit hanging in the same closet as his t-shirts. Plus even if there were not suits available, maybe a long-sleeved shirt with a collar."
GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger responded to Schiff's suggestion that the Ukrainian leader should have stepped up his attire for the speech: "I'm ok with it man. You know, war and all," Kinzinger tweeted.
"Imagine not just thinking this, but sending it out into the universe. What an ass. 'Times are hard' is the takeaway when Ukrainian lives are being destroyed simply for wanting to exist without intrusion? Talk about privilege. Here’s an example," Kimberly Ross tweeted.
"It's only March, but you, sir, have just posted the dumbest thing I'll see on Twitter all year," someone else declared.
"Then you don't spend much time on Twitter," Schiff responded.