alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

Trump said he had an 'obligation to end corruption' in Ukraine but tried to gut Billions targeted to do just that

Trump said he had an 'obligation to end corruption' in Ukraine but tried to gut Billions targeted to do just that
Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour

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:

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.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close