TEHRAN (Iran News) – US President Donald Trump has denied he told former national security adviser John Bolton that unless Ukraine investigated his political rivals, military aid to Kyiv would be frozen.
According to a New York Times report on Sunday, Bolton writes in his forthcoming book that Trump said he wanted to keep frozen $391 million in aid to Ukraine until Kyiv officials helped with a probe into his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Trump, however, denied wrongdoing in a trio of tweets early on Monday, saying, “I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens.”
“In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book,” Trump said.
Democrats in the US House of Representatives opened an impeachment inquiry in late September after a whistle-blower complaint filed to congress claimed that Trump had pressured the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July 25 phone call to investigate Biden, and his son, Hunter, who had business interests in Ukraine.
Trump is currently facing an impeachment trial over the charges of abusing power and obstruction of Congress.
On Monday, the president claimed he released the military aid to Ukraine “without any conditions or investigations – and far ahead of schedule.”
The aid, however, was not released until after news reports came out describing the freeze, and that not all of the $391 million was distributed before the end of the fiscal year.
In his tweets, the president also pointed to his administration providing Ukraine with anti-tank Javelin missiles and an afterward meeting he had with Zelensky at the United Nations.
“I also allowed Ukraine to purchase Javelin anti-tank missiles. My Administration has done far more than the previous Administration.”
Ukraine ordered the purchase of the weapons a couple of weeks before a controversial phone call between Zelenskiy and Trump.
On October 3, the US State Department approved the possible military sale to Ukraine of 150 Javelin anti-tank missiles and two additional missile launchers, worth approximately $39.2 million.
- source : PressTV, Iran News