Sunday, December 8, 2019

Walberg's Speeches in Ukraine

Walberg on May 30, 2019, at a panel discussion in Ukraine Parliament


This report presents full transcripts and video links for the first time in the United States, three speeches that US House member, Tim Walberg (MI-07) delivered in Ukraine in 2015 and 2019. They took place at Prayer Breakfast events organized in partnership with Doug Burleigh of The Fellowship Foundation, aka The Family, who was in attendance for the two main breakfast events.

On July 8, 2019, I found the Ethics filing about Walberg’s five-day trip to Ukraine the previous month. I was concerned that Walberg had met with so many leaders in public arenas in Ukraine, and yet there was not a single word or photo about it in any outlets in the United States. None of Walberg’s newsletters, social media, or press releases mentioned a thing about it. Walberg’s social media accounts continued to post material while he was in Ukraine, but nothing about the trip before or afterward.

Tweet of my initial findings on July 8, 2019

On August 7, at Walberg’s coffee hour in Northfield Township, some constituents and myself asked Walberg about the trip, and why he had kept it all hidden from constituents. When one constituent asked, “why are we only hearing about this today…?” Walberg flippantly replied, “You asked me.”

Me: “Could you post your speech for all of us to- ?” [Interruption]

Walberg: “Nah, I’m not gonna post my speech. I gave it. If you want to look online, it’s probably there.”

Me: “I’ve looked. I can’t find it.”

Walberg: “I know there were YouTube things that were on there.”

Constituent, Greg: “What are you hiding?”

Walberg: “I’m not hiding anything. It was a great speech. So,”

Me: “Yeah, we have to take your word for it.”

In September, when the scandal between Trump and Ukraine started to be revealed, I became more interested in finding out about the hidden work that Walberg had done in Ukraine. In that ongoing effort, I found these speeches. 

My Analysis follows each of the speeches below. 

July 2, 2015 – Kyiv, Ukraine

Walberg: (very beginning of speech clipped off from video) “…Senator Roger Wicker, from Mississippi. And I also bring to you greetings from other members of Congress who asked me to greet you today, Congressman Randy Forbes (VA-04), who chairs our Congressional Prayer Caucus, then Congressman Juan Vargas from California (CA-51), Congressman Chris Smith from New Jersey (NJ-04), and Senator James Inhofe from Oklahoma who sent a personal letter of greeting and support to President Poroshenko (2014-2019), and to Parliament that I would like to pass on for someone to take it to the President for his greetings.”

“God bless the Ukraine. I feel as if I were standing here amongst the giants of the American revolution, but rather of the Ukrainian revolution; a courageous effort for freedom that speaks not only to the Ukrainian people, but to the world. I want you to know that I pray for President Poroshenko, and your country, and the parliament that leads it.”

“I come to you as a member of Congress, a member of government, and remembering that God has established government, but more importantly, I come to you as a follower of Jesus, in the spirit of Jesus.”

“The world is a challenging place today. And you, the leaders of the Ukraine know that as well as anyone. I want you to know that we pray for you in our Congressional Prayer Caucus, and the many small Fellowship groups (aka The Family) that meet in our Capitol. You do well in having a similar group in Parliament, and this National Prayer Breakfast. Our groups are non-partisan in nature, Republicans and Democrats meeting together in the spirit of Jesus. This is how it should be, and how it was from the beginnings of our country.”

“Prayer to God, and the principles of the Bible were the founding principles of our country, and its government. God has indeed blessed America, but that blessing can be lost if we go away from the spirit and the principles of Jesus. These timeless principles that lifted us above revolution, world challenge, and mere human thought.”

Joseph Stalin said, and you know of him well, ‘America is like a healthy body, and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.’”

“Please pray for America, as we pray for you. Our morality and our spiritual life is being undermined. For this reason, our Congressional Prayer Caucus has put out a call for our national, state, and local leaders, along with our pastors and congregations all over America to sign a proclamation committing ourselves to continuing prayer, asking God to heal our land. For it is only God that can do that healing.”

“What if that same movement began right here, for the Ukraine, and for other countries around these tables? What if each of you led that healing? God would indeed bless the Ukraine, and he would heal and bless America. Please take this challenge.”

“My prayers are with you, your nation, and your leaders, and the spirit of Jesus and God’s principles in the bible will make you strong. God bless you. дуже дякую [duzhe dyakuyu – thank you very much]. Thank you.”

Analysis of SPEECH ONE:

·      I would like to see that letter that James Inhofe wrote to Petro Poreshenko.

·      Walberg still claims membership in the Congressional Prayer Caucus, but since the chair, Randy Forbes lost re-election in 2016, the group has not been as active, and their foundation webpage has not been updated in over a year. The Prayer Caucus members, used to pay the salary of a shared staffer, Amy K. Vitale with taxpayer money to manage the Prayer Caucus activities. Walberg listed Vitale as “Legislative Counsel” in his disbursements.

·      “I want you to know that we pray for you in our Congressional Prayer Caucus, and the many small Fellowship groups that meet in our Capitol.” The Fellowship Foundation, aka The Family, has both Senate and House groups that meet in the Capitol. They also host the annual National Prayer Breakfast with Doug Burleigh, who also spoke in Ukraine that day.

Doug Burleigh of the Fellowship Foundation speaking at the 2015 Ukraine Prayer Breakfast

·      I cited this 2015 prayer breakfast in my report last year about Walberg frequently reciting that bogus Stalin quote over the years. I had failed to find any recordings of Walberg’s speech in time for that report.

·      On July 5, 2015, Walberg spoke for an hour at a Pray USA event in Toledo, Ohio hosted at a church for the Congressional Prayer Caucus initiative. That was where Walberg had the congregation, “sign a proclamation”, and he mentioned his trip to Ukraine, and also recited the bogus Stalin quote to them too.

May 30, 2019 – Kyiv, Ukraine (The Main Prayer Breakfast Event)

Walberg: “привет [pryvet - hello]. I want to say to you how great it is to be here today, with you. I come as a member of Congress, yes, but first and foremost, I come as a Christian, one who has accepted Jesus Christ as my personal lord and savior, for the forgiveness of my sins, for the purpose of my life, and for my future that’s eternal and will be with him. And for that I praise God.”

“Today, what I would say to you is, first and foremost America stands with Ukraine. As a member of Congress, I think I can speak for the majority of members of Congress, that we stand with Ukraine, and thank God for the experience that we have learned through you and your desires to be people who support freedom, opportunity. But in recent years, I have been just so blessed to see the passion of members of Parliament and leaders here in this great nation stand for the purposes that God intends for a people, and that’s freedom, opportunity, liberty, but a commitment to God himself and the lordship of the savior Jesus Christ.”

“It is important that you know that every Thursday morning members of the House of Representatives, we meet for prayer in the Congressional Prayer Breakfast (hosted by The Family aka Fellowship Foundation), and we pray for other nations, and we have prayed for Ukraine as well. And I believe that God is answering our prayers, because he is building a nation here of Ukraine and leadership that are an example to the rest of the world, the United States as well. And I thank you for that.” 

“United States has been a blessed nation. And it wasn’t blessed just because we had good principles of economics, free enterprise, capitalism, a representative government where as our founders said, ‘Here, the people rule’ (see fact check in analysis). But in truth, it came as a result of our nation, and our framers and founders being committed to the God who designed us all, and built into our country principles that were indeed Christian, based upon Judeo-Christian values yes, but based upon the sovereignty of God himself, who desires that all men come to the knowledge of the truth, and that truth is found wrapped up in his love that he demonstrated in giving to us, first and foremost, his best, our savior Jesus Christ.

“And so I come to you in the spirit of Jesus today, as a member of the world, as a representative of a district in Michigan, as a proud member of the U.S. Congress, but again as a proud member of the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ. I come to encourage you today. Build up your faith. Continue to pray together. Continue to learn the word of God together, because in the word of God the bible there is truth, and there is everything needed for life, both for here now, and to come.”

“The word of God has principles that will make Ukraine greater than it is today. That will make Ukraine a beacon for the rest of the world to see, as a nation that honors the principles that are timeless, and is willing to stand on things that God can and will bless. Even as we’ve seen in America God bless our nation to the point that now we find that there are people who seem to want to, uh, go a different way, and thinks that in their human wisdom, they can make a nation greater than was designed under principles of God. You pray for us, please.”

“I plead with you to pray for America, that we would stand firm, and that we would not just be a great economic powerhouse, and I thank God for that. I thank God that our people are working in our country. That there’s more jobs now available than people to fill those jobs. I appreciate that, but I want our nation also to understand that there are principles that relate to life itself, that we would stand for life, and against abortion. That we would stand for the institution of marriage, designed by God, between one man and one woman for life.” 

“For that, I thank God for having a wife of 45 years, who has stuck with me, and I am delighted that Sue could be with me here today. I’m glad that I have the opportunity to be the father of 3 children. I’ve heard some of you have 8, and 10, and 11 children. I’m embarrassed that I only have 3, but I thank God for those 3. And I thank God for my 6 grandchildren. That gives me the opportunity, the responsibility to press on for whatever it means ‘til God brings me home.”

“I would leave this with you today; in Second Timothy, chapter two, verse 15, the apostle Paul said to his son in the faith, Timothy, and I take that personally, cause my name is Timothy, and he said to Timothy, ‘Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, as a workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.’” 

“At the end of each day, almost every day, I ask these three questions related to that wonderful scripture. First of all, is God pleased? ‘Present yourself approved to God’. Secondly, have I done the work well? ‘a workman needing not to be ashamed’. And then finally, finally, have I used the word well? ‘accurately handling the word of truth.’”

“I challenge all of you who are parliamentarians, who are local government officials, who are leaders of your party, who are military, who are teachers, who are faith leaders in our churches, and our religious associations, I challenge you to at the end of each day to be able to say, I’m approved by Jesus. I’m approved by God. He’s pleased. Yes, I’ve done the work well, and yes, I’ve used the word well. You see, when we’ve used the word well, we can expect to say yes to each of those other questions, because God has led us, he’s directed us with wisdom that’s timeless.”

“And in the case of Ukraine, it will make a nation that is greater than anything you could imagine right now, because the hand of God will bless you and bless the world. May God bless Ukraine.”

Analysis of SPEECH TWO:

·      “United States has been a blessed nation. And it wasn’t blessed just because we had good principles of economics, free enterprise, capitalism, a representative government where as our founders said, Here, the people rule That was not said by any of the founders, but actually by Gerald Ford in his swearing in ceremony on August 9, 1974.

Link to Ford’s Presidential Library:

·      “our framers and founders being committed to the God who designed us all, and built into our country principles that were indeed Christian, based upon Judeo-Christian values…” The framers and founders had no conception of the term “Judeo-Christian”. The term first appeared in print well after the American Revolution, by an Irish missionary in 1821, while trying to convert European Jewish people to Christianity. The tern varied in meaning over the century, and now its current usage among mostly American evangelical Christians remains controversial.

·      “I want our nation also to understand that there are principles that relate to life itself, that we would stand for life, and against abortion. That we would stand for the institution of marriage, designed by God, between one man and one woman for life.” For years after SCOTUS’s ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, Walberg mostly avoided saying so much anti-LGBT stuff. This summer, he ramped it up again saying some anti-LGBT stuff at various coffee hours. Also, on August 23, Walberg signed onto an anti-LGBT amicus brief to SCOTUS, regarding the three cases of workplace discrimination that is currently being deliberated by the court.

·      October 11, 2019, a constituent’s letter to the Monroe News finally pressured the paper to report about Walberg’s Ukraine trip. The only new information in their report to me was this line: “Walberg headed a delegation of U.S. diplomats”. It did not name any members of that delegation, or what their official roles were, who paid for their trips, whether it was coordinated with the State Department, or with any other official agency or not.

·      In my research, I learned who Walberg’s “delegation of U.S. diplomats” were, but I still have questions about what Walberg delegated them to do, and why they were not mentioned in his Ethics filing.

Walberg speaking at the Prayer Breakfast, observed by his “delegation of U.S. diplomats”

·      When Walberg met with Andriy Parubiy, Chair of the Ukrainian Parliament, for a panel discussion on May 30, he was joined on the panel by Doug BurleighMichele Bachmann, and Marc Nuttle.

Doug Burleigh watching Walberg at the panel discussion in Parliament

·      The first national news outlet to report on Walberg’s trip was The Daily Beast, and they got at least one item wrong in their report, stating that “Dan Burleigh” attended the panel discussion in parliament. I sent an email to the reporter about it, and the article has not yet been corrected. It was also apparent to me that their report was informed by the letter to the editor that was sent to the Monroe News, pertaining to the discussions at Walberg’s Dundee coffee hour. So, kudos to constituents who send such informative letters to local papers.

Link to report:

May 31, 2019 – Zhytomyr, Ukraine

Walberg:  “привет [pryvet - hello]

Я вітаю всіх вас із США [YA vitayu vsikh vas iz SSHA – I bring greetings to you all from the USA]

“Forgive me for my Ukraine. Mr. Mayor (Serhiy Sukhomlin, of Zhytomyr), thank you for the welcome to your city. To the leaders in the religious community, thank you. It is a privilege for my wife Susan, and me to be here this morning. We love Ukraine. Every time we come here we are encouraged by a nation and a people that are growing in their commitment to freedom, and more importantly to Jesus Christ. God will bless you, regardless of the circumstances. I pray for you regularly.”

“It is important that a nation like Ukraine be seen as an example as coming from bondage of communism to freedom, and freedom of religion. God has blessed America because we chose to follow his principles. There are strong efforts in our country to move us away from those foundational principles. Please pray for us that we will stand firm.”

“I come to you today first and foremost as a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, who is my savior. Secondarily, I am a husband, a father, my wife Susan has put up with me for 45 years. God has blessed us with three children and six grandchildren. And then, he has blessed me with giving me the ministry as a member of the US Congress.”

“Mr. Mayor, politics is a ministry. Remember it is said in scripture that God is our judge, our lawgiver, and our king (Isaiah 33:22). Those are the three branches of government (Um… see analysis below). I am privileged to serve with a number of Christ-followers in Congress. Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, we meet together every Thursday morning for prayer (hosted by The Family aka Fellowship Foundation), to have breakfast together, to sing songs, and to pray, and then we fellowship together learning more about each other and how God is working in our lives. We have found that this unites us as we work together in politics. We still enjoy fighting over politics, but it’s easier to see each other as brothers and sisters when we have prayed together. We also meet, a number of us, for bible study every week (This is another group, Capitol Ministries, see analysis). There are bible studies in the House, the Senate, and in the White House.”

“Pray for our President. He has a powerful witness of Christians surrounding him. Our Vice President Pence is a strong believer in Jesus Christ. The majority of the President’s cabinet are fine Christians. So only God knows what the impact will be on President Trump. And yet we know because of the influence of Christians, our President has been one of the strongest proponents in modern history for the cause of life and marriage: marriage between a man and a woman for life, and the support for life from conception to natural death. He has also been a strong supporter of religious liberty in our country.”

“For that reason, I salute you for prayer breakfasts like this, where believers can join together, and leave sometimes our theological fights, to center on our commitment to God and the authority of the Bible. For it is only that God’s principles found in scripture can give us freedom, opportunity, and a moral way of life that builds society, and doesn’t tear it down. I thank God for your example here in this community, and all across Ukraine.”

“My prayer for you would be this: That you, as well as I would be willing to commit ourselves to following God’s principles, whatever they would ask of us. God will then bless, in spite of our circumstances.”

In Second Timothy, a special book to me, since my name is Timothy, the apostle Paul instructs his son in the faith Timothy with this clear principle: Paul says, ‘be diligent to present yourself to God approved by God as a workman needing not to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth’ (2 Timothy 2:15). At the end of each day, I attempt to answer the three questions in that verse. The first question: Is God pleased? ‘Present yourself approved to God’. Is God pleased? Secondly: Has the work been done well? ‘a workman needing not to be ashamed’. And then finally: Has the word been used well?”

“In my life, as a member of congress, a husband, and a father, if I use the word of God well, accepting his principles, whether I understand them fully or not, I know that my work will have been done well for him, and my God will be pleased. Regardless of what my constituents think of me, the God who I serve will be pleased.”

“These three principles can be the same for a country or for a city. If God is pleased with your work for your church, for your city, for your family, your community and your country will be blessed. You will find the greatest purpose for your life, and god will bless your land. 

“I again thank you for your commitment to be here today, to do the things that God honors, to love the people that he loves, to stand for the principles that he condones, to oppose what he condemns, but to oft the reconciliation that he gave through his son, our savior, Jesus Christ.”

“I will pray for you. I would ask you to pray for us, and together, God will be glorified. May God bless Ukraine, and may God bless America.”

Analysis of SPEECH THREE:

·      “God is our judge, our lawgiver, and our king. Those are the three branches of government.” That first sentence does indeed refer to scripture, but Walberg’s conception of the three branches of government is not in any holy scripture, nor is it Constitutional. Such a quote should disqualify Walberg from being in U.S. Congress.

·      We also meet, a number of us, for bible study every week. There are bible studies in the House, the Senate, and in the White House.” That refers to a distinctly other group, Capitol Ministries, which is composed 100% of Republican members, including Walberg. The DC group was formed by former NBA player, now right-wing minister, Ralph Drollinger in 2010. They claim to be non-political, and are registered as a 501(c)(3).

Link to their site:

·      “only God knows what the impact will be on President Trump. And yet we know because of the influence of Christians…” That whole paragraph informs us of Walberg’s true feelings toward Trump. Walberg implicitly said that Donald Trump is not a Christian. Also, that Trump’s policies that are favorable to Walberg, are not of Trump’s own volition, but rather due to the influence of Christians around Trump. To Walberg, Trump is a willing stooge, or useful idiot for his influence.

Who has the upper hand?

·      Walberg’s portrait of Trump is also consistent with the “Wolf King” parable as described in the Netflix series “The Family”, about the Fellowship Foundation. It says that a segment of evangelicals are willing to excuse violent, obscene, and immoral behavior from people in powerful offices, because they believe that God chose them to be there as pieces of a divine plan. So no matter how many awful things that Trump says and does, Walberg will excuse it, because he believes that Trump was chosen by God to be in that powerful office. Walberg also sees himself as chosen by God:

“he has blessed me with giving me the ministry as a member of the US Congress.”

That explains why Walberg ignores pressure from constituents.

Regardless of what my constituents think of me, the God who I serve will be pleased.”

So, Walberg, as a U.S. Representative told Ukrainians that he does not serve, or regard what his own constituents think.

Steven Meyer
Sunday, December 8, 2019
Monroe, Michigan