“It was only until he felt that he was being exposed that he actually stepped up and actually released the funds.”
President Donald Trump was reportedly aware of the whistleblower complaint against him when he released $390 million in frozen military aid to Ukraine in early September, prompting allegations that Trump only released the funds because his actions came under serious scrutiny.
“The timeline is clear,” said Sean Eldridge, founder of progressive advocacy group Stand Up America. “Trump only released the aid because he got caught.”
The New York Times, citing two anonymous officials familiar with the matter, reported late Tuesday that “Trump had already been briefed on a whistleblower’s complaint about his dealings with Ukraine when he unfroze military aid for the country.”
“Mr. Trump faced bipartisan pressure from Congress when he released the aid,” the Times noted. “But the new timing detail shows that he was also aware at the time that the whistleblower had accused him of wrongdoing in withholding the aid and in his broader campaign to pressure Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to conduct investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump’s re-election chances.”
Trump knew about the whistleblower complaint against him, his Attorney General and his Office of Management and Budget when he decided to release the aid he ILLEGALLY withheld from Ukraine.
🗣He only did the right thing when he got caught 🗣 https://t.co/f0QjCvNDnM
— Swing Left (@swingleft) November 27, 2019
If the Times reporting is accurate, it means Trump was also aware of the whistleblower complaint when he told U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in September that there was no “quid pro quo” with Ukraine.
According to House Budget Committee documents, Trump officially froze the aid to Ukraine on July 25, the same day as the president’s phone call with Zelensky. Democrats have accused the president of unlawfully withholding the aid, which was appropriated by Congress.
“It was only until he felt that he was being exposed that he actually stepped up and actually released the funds,” Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) told CNN Tuesday night.
The Washington Post reported late Tuesday that two officials at the White House Office of Management and Budget resigned in part over concerns about Trump’s order to withhold the Ukraine funds.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, offered a simplified timeline of events on Twitter in response to the Times reporting, which was later confirmed by the Wall Street Journal.
“One more time for those playing along at home,” tweeted Cicilline. “1) He tried to bribe Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election. 2) He got caught. 3) He confessed. 4) We will hold him accountable.”
Trump has been talking a big game on debates — but he hasn’t even committed to the ones they scheduled
In recent interviews, President Donald Trump talked a big game about the presidential debates against presumptive Democratic opponent Joe Biden. The president has even called for an additional debate to happen sooner.
"The one problem I have, the debate's very late. It's at the end of September and a lot of ballots will already be cast by that time," Trump ranted in a "Fox & Friends" interview this week.
“By the time of the first presidential debate on September 29, 2020, at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, as many as eight million Americans in 16 states will have already started voting," said Rudy Giuliani who has been negotiating debates for Trump.
‘So many bootlicking hacks’: Trump campaign ignites mockery with ‘hilarious’ list of potential debate moderators
Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday asked the Commission on Presidential Debates to move up the last presidential debate to the first week in September, according to Axios. In his letter to the commission, he also included a list of suggested moderators.
The list included several mainstream journalists, such as Norah O'Donnell of CBS News and David Muir of ABC News. But it also contained a number of right-wing pundits, like Hugh Hewitt.
CNN’s Brianna Keilar explains why she battled Trump adviser: ‘You can’t just ignore BS — you have to shovel it’
This Tuesday, CNN's Brianna Keilar got into a heated exchange with Trump campaign senior adviser Mercedes Schlapp, fact-checking her assertions that mail-in voting can lead to election fraud. This Wednesday, Keilar did a follow-up on the segment, saying that a coronavirus death in the U.S. is more than "2000-times likely to occur than a case of voter fraud in any type of election."
Keilar then addressed some criticism her network has received over its choice to interview Trump campaign officials when their struggles with the truth are well known.