McCaul to Action

michael mccaul
McCaul is confident that the Ukraine supplemental passed by the Senate in February would soon pass the House on a straight floor vote. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Julia Ioffe
April 2, 2024

When I sat down to interview Texas Representative Michael McCaul, the Republican head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in his sprawling Rayburn office, Congress was just winding down for the Easter recess and the chairman was feeling good. He had just bested a primary opponent who had attacked his vociferous support for Ukraine, and Mike Johnson, the Republican House speaker, was making more and more noise about getting a Ukraine supplemental aid package on the floor for a vote after months of stalling. 

“Can you read Ukrainian?” McCaul asked as he walked behind his desk and brought out a souvenir the Ukrainians had given him on his last trip to the country. It was an ammo box with six shot glasses made from shell casings, each with a different message written on it. “I think one of them says ‘Eff you, Russia,” McCaul chuckled. But he totally lost it when I told him what it really said: “Russian warship, go fuck yourself.”