Trump said he had an 'obligation to end corruption' in Ukraine but tried to gut Billions targeted to do just that
President Donald Trump for a few days earlier this month repeatedly insisted he was all about fighting corruption. So dedicated to this new slogan was the American president that one might assume it had been part of his 2016 campaign stump speech (it was not.)
On TV and on Twitter Trump insisted his attempts to extort the president ofUkraine (photo) in a scheme to get dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for $400 million in congressionally-appropriated military aid, were merely about ensuring that nation, bedeviled by corruption in years past, was on a new path.
“To me everything is about corruption,” Trump told reporters in early October. “We want to find out about what happened with 2016,” he insisted, furthering his conspiracy theory that the Obama administration investigated him in an attempt to illegally interfere in the election, and that Ukraine and the Democrats colluded, while Russia did not attack the U.S. election. All of which is false.
“I don’t care about Biden’s campaign, I do care about corruption,” Trump continued, which clearly is false. “His campaign that’s up to him. Politics, that’s up to them. I don’t care about politics.”
A few more examples via Twitter:
As the President of the United States, I have an absolute right, perhaps even a duty, to investigate, or have inves… https://t.co/X8NmXJ5ey7— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1570151078.0
Very simple! I was looking for Corruption and also why Germany, France and others in the European Union don’t do mo… https://t.co/QYCX1IYMgj— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1569851935.0
If all this were true, why is it President Trump and his administration repeatedly attempted to gut billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine and other countries, aid specifically targeted at fighting corruption?
“The administration’s professed interest in fighting corruption in Ukraine has not been reflected in its annual budget requests to Congress,” The Washington Post reports in an article titled, “Trump administration sought billions of dollars in cuts to programs aimed at fighting corruption in Ukraine and elsewhere.”
For example, the administration sought to cut a program called International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement. Among the goals of the program, as described in White House budget documents, is “helping U.S. partners address threats to U.S. interests by building resilience and promoting reform in the justice and law enforcement sectors through support to new institutions and specialized offices, such as Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau and Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.”
The Post details another example, reporting that “the administration sought to streamline a number of overseas democracy assistance and foreign aid accounts under one larger umbrella called the Economic Support and Development Fund. The White House believed that consolidation would cut those programs by more than $2 billion.”