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June 8, 2022 11:25 am
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CNN Anchor Jake Tapper Says He Gave Ukrainian President Zelensky Matzah for Passover

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

CNN’s Jake Tapper interviewing Ukrainian President Vloydymyr Zelensky in April. Photo: Screenshot.

CNN anchor Jake Tapper said that before his in-person interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during Passover, he gave the Jewish world leader a box of matzah.

“I don’t think he’s particularly observant, but Zelensky’s Jewish. When I came for the interview I gave him a box of matzah. And he said ‘thanks,'” Tapper, who is also Jewish, said during his guest appearance Monday on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”

Tapper — CNN’s chief Washington correspondent and the co-anchor on “State of the Union with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash” and “The Lead with Jake Tapper” — was in Ukraine for two weeks in April for an exclusive interview with Zelensky. He also spoke to Colbert about spending Passover in the Eastern European country, saying, “It was the first time I had not had a seder in my entire life. I had a one-man seder. The local Orthodox rabbi – believe it or not, there is a local Orthodox rabbi – gave me a little seder in a box.

He then joked about Orthodox rabbis, “There’s one everywhere. When they land on Mars there’s gonna be a Lubavitcher rabbi [saying] “Welcome!”

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During their interview in April at the residential palace in Kyiv, Tapper talked to Zelensky about Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia, and also asked the president if he had a message for Ukrainian Jews and “the message of freedom” as they celebrate Passover.

“I believe the way we fight for freedom is the most important message,” Zelensky replied. “Because you can send a lot of messages with words and they come from different people. But when it comes to action, only a few act on their words, and today I believe Ukrainian people show by their actions that they are fighting and protecting freedom.”

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