Trump Openly Admits to Pressuring Ukraine Over Biden

“Why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?”

Evan Vucci/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.
President Donald Trump on Monday appeared to confirm that he pressured Ukraine to investigate debunked corruption allegations against Joe Biden in exchange for releasing US military aid to the country. The comments came a day after the president vehemently denied the accusation of a “quid pro quo” arrangement between him and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
 
“We’re supporting a country, we want to make sure that country is honest,” Trump told reporters at the United Nations General Assembly. “It’s very important to talk about corruption. If you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?”
 
Trump also said that the public would soon see “more honesty” from the Ukranian leader. 
 
The remarks are the latest twist in the intensifying scandal over a July phone call between Trump and Zelenskiy in which he pressed the Ukrainian leader eight times to open a probe into discredited allegations against Biden and his son, Hunter, the Wall Street Journal reported. While Trump has repeatedly declared that the conversation was appropriate, even perfect, the conversation reportedly formed part of the basis for a whistleblower’s complaint filed by a member of the intelligence community. According to reports, the whistleblower found the contents of the call so egregious, that they filed a formal complaint to the inspector general.
 
So far, acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to provide details of the whistleblower’s complaint to Congress, even as Democrats demand more information and renew the push for impeachment over the stunning allegations. But as Maguire resists releasing the complaint, Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani have taken it upon themselves to divulge details of their effort to pressure Ukraine to launch an investigation aimed at tarnishing one of Trump’s Democratic rivals. 

The two men have also made clear that the end goal is to paint the Biden family as corrupt. “What Biden did was a disgrace,” Trump said at the UN on Monday. “What Biden’s son did was a disgrace.” Trump’s apparent effort to coerce a foreign power into meddling in the next presidential election has fueled condemnation from across the political spectrum.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate