POST Online Media Lite Edition


Trump: Europe not paying enough to Ukraine

Christian Fernsby |
U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday his decision to withhold millions of U.S. dollars in defense assistance to Ukraine was made because European countries did not pay their fair share of the aid.

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"Other countries should be paying also," Trump told reporters in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session.

"Why is the United States the only one paying to Ukraine? And I've been talking about this for a long time, not only with respect to Ukraine but a lot of other countries," he said.

The president said earlier in the day that the U.S. aid to Ukraine has already been paid.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump told acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney in July to put almost 400 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine on hold, citing "concerns" about "a lot of corruption in Ukraine."

That order, which was subsequently passed on to lower-level officials, was made a week before a controversial phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, according to the Post.

The phone call is now under investigation by the Democratic-controlled House Intelligence Committee.

The presidential conversation between Washington and Kiev is at the center of a whistleblower complaint filed in mid-August by an unidentified intelligence official, alleging that Trump interacted inappropriately with a foreign leader and made an unspecified "promise."

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Trump pressed his Ukrainian counterpart about eight times in the phone call to seek information about business dealings between Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and a Ukrainian gas company. The information could potentially be damaging to Biden senior's White House bid.

Amid demands for releasing the transcript of the call in question, Trump, who on Sunday appeared to have confirmed he did talk about Biden with Zelensky on the phone, reiterated his earlier assertions that the transcript will be made public.

"When you see the call, when you see the readout of the call, which I assume you'll see at some point, you'll understand that call was perfect," he said Monday.

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