Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Trump changes story on withholding Ukraine aid

President Donald Trump on Tuesday shifted his explanation for temporarily withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine, citing what he criticized as a lack of similar financial contribution by other Western powers to the Eastern European nation.

Trump’s latest remarks are at odds with his assertion Monday that he denied the assistance because he feared bureaucratic corruption within Ukraine’s government. The new claim also comes after weekend reports that he repeatedly pressured newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a July phone call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son.

“As far as withholding funds, those funds were paid. They were fully paid,” Trump told reporters Tuesday, ahead of his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

“But my complaint has always been, and I'd withhold again, and I'll continue to withhold until such time as Europe and other nations contribute to Ukraine,” he continued. “Because they're not doing it. Just the United States. We're putting up the bulk of the money. And I'm asking, why is that?”

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