The Washington Post editorial board published an alarming op-ed this week that claims President Donald Trump is trying to “extort” the government of Ukraine to help his 2020 presidential campaign dig up dirt on current Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.
According to the editorial, Trump so far has refused to grant new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a visit at the White House and has mulled suspending $250 million in military aid to the country.
While some critics of the administration have claimed that this move is designed to help Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Post’s editors claim they have knowledge that the president’s motives are even more nefarious.
“We’re reliably told that the president… is attempting to force Mr. Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden,” the editors write. “Mr. Trump is not just soliciting Ukraine’s help with his presidential campaign; he is using U.S. military aid the country desperately needs in an attempt to extort it.”
The editorial also speculates that the White House may be holding a grudge against Ukraine after a Ukrainian legislator uncovered damning information about the activities of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has since been convicted on money laundering charges related to his work as a lobbyist in the country.