GOP Senator Ron Johnson is refuting allegations the president held up aid to Ukraine as part of an effort to get the nation to open investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 election.
On Sunday, Johnson said when he spoke to the president about the aid in August, President Trump raised the issues of corruption in Ukraine and the EU’s lack of financial support for the country.
Johnson also said most of the president’s advisers wanted the aid to be released and pointed out the funding was provided in September.
The senator added the president made it clear he was not withholding the aid for investigations.
“When I raised the issue, he vehemently, adamantly and angrily denied that there was any kind of condition to release that,” stated Johnson. “He was concerned about corruption.”
Johnson also said the president has been very consistent about why he had serious reservations about providing the aid.
On Saturday, Bloomberg reported that the State Department lifted the president’s freeze on Ukraine’s military aid nearly a week before he had announced it on September 11th. The report claimed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was sent a classified memo by the agency’s lawyers, which reportedly said there was no legal standing to block the aid.
Witnesses in the impeachment inquiry have claimed the Trump administration withheld the military aid to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election. President Trump has pushed back on these allegations, calling the inquiry a “hoax” and stating that his interactions with the foreign government were “perfect.”
The president has since asked the American people to read the transcript of his July phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, which was released in September.
On Saturday, he announced the forthcoming release of another one of his communications with the country, which is slated to be delivered next week.