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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GOP fears "little guy" attack on Amy Coney Barrett

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

White House aides and Senate Republicans have spent the past week readying binders full of messaging and rebuttals to guide Judge Amy Coney Barrett to a pre-Nov. 3 confirmation. "We knew for days it was going to be Amy," a Senate GOP aide involved in her confirmation process told Axios.

What we're hearing: Beyond the expected questions about her views on religion, abortion and health care, Republicans worry about Democrats painting Barrett as someone who is insensitive and unfair to “the little guy,” one source involved in the talks told Axios.

Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 32,938,616 — Total deaths: 995,465 — Total recoveries: 22,782,724Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 7,101,774 — Total deaths: 204,618 — Total recoveries: 2,750,459 — Total tests: 100,492,536Map.
  3. States: 3 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — New York daily cases top 1,000 for first time since June.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.

Debate commission co-chair: We don't expect moderators to fact-check candidates

Presidential Debate Commission co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. said Sunday he doesn't expect Fox News anchor Chris Wallace or any of the other moderators to fact-check President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden at the debates.

What he's saying: "There's a vast difference between being a moderator in a debate and being a reporter who is interviewing someone," Fahrenkopf said on CNN's "Reliable Sources."