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Trump has linked planned aid to Ukraine with US policy (White House)

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The White House on Thursday acknowledged for the first time that Donald Trump had linked aid grants to Ukraine to US domestic policy considerations, offering new arguments to Democrats seeking to isolate the president.

White House chief of staff Mick Malvani was surprised to launch the recognition at a press conference ahead of the G7 summit.

At the end of July, Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelinsky to investigate Joe Biden and the work of his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine. In the same month, the Trump administration froze nearly $ 400 million in military aid to Ukraine.

The decision is at the heart of the investigation opened three weeks ago by Democratic lawmakers as they sought to isolate Trump. They want to determine whether Trump has used his position for personal purposes, especially by freezing funds to force Kiev to cooperate.

The Republican billionaire says he has not exerted “any pressure” on President Zelinsky and that the aid was frozen during the period of evaluation of the aid provided to Ukraine by other Western partners.

But for the first time the White House admitted on Thursday that Trump had other motives.

“Did he mention the corruption associated with the Democratic Party’s information server? Sure. There is no doubt about that, that’s why we have frozen the money,” Malvani said.

“We always do this in foreign policy,” he said. “You have to get over it. There must be a political impact on foreign policy.”

– “From bad to worse” –

Malfani points to an idea born among conspiracy theorists and his associates that Ukraine hacked Democratic Party emails during the 2016 US presidential election, not Russia, as US intelligence agencies confirm.

The argument was raised to question the credibility of the investigation into suspicions of collusion between the Republican presidential campaign team and Moscow, which dominated Trump’s first two years.

“A return to what happened in 2016 (…) was absolutely necessary,” Mick Malvani said, stressing that aid was ultimately paid to Ukraine in September.

Democrat Adam Schiff, who oversees the Trump congressional inquiry, countered that “Malvani has just said that Ukraine’s military assistance has been suspended to force Kiev to investigate the Democrats.” “Things are going from bad to worse.”

In the face of controversy sparked by his remarks, Malvani published a statement hours later stressing that the media “distorted his remarks” made in front of cameras, as part of the “rampant campaign” against Donald Trump.

– “Disappointment” –

On the other hand, US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sundland revealed that Donald Trump has imposed on Ukrainian diplomats to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who strongly defends him.

Although known for his closeness to Trump, the businessman said, “We were disappointed with Trump’s order to involve Giuliani.”

Sundeland said Giuliani had made it clear to diplomats later that President Trump wanted his Ukrainian counterpart to “make two public statements about corruption” and point to “an investigation into two important issues” – the Democratic Information Server and the Borisma gas group where Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, worked. .

“I have only realized too late that one of Giuliani’s goals may be … to involve the Ukrainians directly or indirectly with the campaign for re-election of the president in 2020,” the ambassador said.

Sundeland is the eighth parliamentarian to hear despite White House attempts to block the Democrats.

Democrats want to move quickly to accuse the president, who is in charge of the House of Representatives they control.

According to the constitution, it is up to the Senate to decide whether to remove Trump. Given the Republicans’ dominance of the House, this prospect seems unlikely at this stage.

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