Sep 24, 2019

Trump confirms he withheld military aid to Ukraine

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump confirmed to reporters at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that he withheld almost $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, but claimed that he did so to force other European nations to contribute.

"I want other countries to put up money. I think it's unfair that we put up the money. Then people called me, they said 'Oh, let it go.' And I let it go. We paid the money. The money was paid. But very importantly, Germany, France, other countries should put up money. And that's been my complaint from the beginning."

Why it matters: The Washington Post first reported Monday night that Trump directed acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to withhold the aid at least a week before speaking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — a conversation in which Trump admitted to discussing Joe Biden and his son. The aid was later released after pressure from Republican senators.

  • The controversy has led to allegations that Trump may have extorted Ukraine into investigating a political opponent in exchange for military aid, prompting a renewed wave of calls for his impeachment among Democrats.
  • Trump has previously said that there was no "quid pro quo" involved in his conversation with Zelensky and that they largely discussed the issue of corruption in Ukraine.

Go deeper: Momentum builds among Dems for Trump impeachment

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Mulvaney attempts to clean up comments on Ukraine quid pro quo

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on "Fox News Sunday" that reporters misinterpreted comments he made on Oct. 17 about President Trump conditioning $400 million in aid to Ukraine on its government opening political investigations.

Go deeperArrowOct 20, 2019

Trump to meet Ukraine's Zelensky at UN amid impeachment frenzy

Photos: Ludovic Marin, Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump is set to meet face to face with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine for the first time today at the UN General Assembly — right as the House is launching an impeachment inquiry around his July phone call with Zelensky.

What to watch: A senior White House official told reporters Trump will congratulate Zelensky on his election win and his “energy and success” so far on anti-corruption reforms. Trump will also raise trade and “his concerns about what he sees as some predatory Chinese economic activity in Ukraine,” the official said.

Go deeperArrowSep 25, 2019

Mulvaney walks back claim that DNC investigation was reason for Ukraine aid freeze

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has walked back comments he made at a press conference Thursday about the Trump administration freezing military aid as leverage to get Ukraine to investigate a conspiracy theory about the Democratic National Committee server hacked by Russia in 2016.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 17, 2019