Select Page

President Donald Trump’s withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim – debunked as a conspiracy theory – about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.

Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a “quid pro quo” – a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor – for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.

But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid – already approved by Congress – was held up partly over Trump’s concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.

“I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy,” Mulvaney said.

He later contradicted himself, ruling out a quid pro quo in a statement from the White House.

In a July 25 call, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for “a favor” to look into the server as well as the California-based cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which was hired by the DNC in 2016 to investigate hacking of Democratic emails that it later determined was done by Russia. Read more

Read also:Energy Secretary Rick Perry, 1 of the ‘3 amigos’ on Ukraine, tells Trump he plans to resign

President Donald Trump’s withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim – debunked as a conspiracy theory – about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.

President Donald Trump’s withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim – debunked as a conspiracy theory – about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.