President Donald Trump ordered his staff to freeze nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine a few days before a phone call in which he pressured the Eastern European nation’s leader to investigate the family of political rival Joe Biden, a revelation that comes as more Democrats move toward impeachment proceedings.
Trump, in remarks to reporters at the United Nations on Tuesday, confirmed that he held up the aid but said he did so to fight corruption and urge European nations to share in helping out Ukraine.
“As far as withholding funds, those funds were paid,” Trump said. “They were fully paid. 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 named Germany and France as among the countries that should “put up money.”
He also used the moment to again suggest that the Biden family inappropriately benefited from their ties to Ukraine.
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With files from the Associated Press