Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who once personally lobbied President Donald Trump to release the hold on military aid to Ukraine, seemed to give former national security adviser John Bolton some credibility while talking with reports on Monday.
Politico’s Kyle Cheney reports that Johnson said that “my guess is John Bolton tells the truth,” although he said he still wanted to hear the Trump administration’s full case and also questioned the “exquisite” timing of the leak about Bolton’s upcoming book, in which he reportedly says Trump told him he was holding up military aid to Ukraine until it agreed to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.
Johnson first heard about the Trump administration’s hold on military aid to Ukraine this past August, and he tried unsuccessfully to convince the president to lift the hold.
Last week, Johnson said he believed the entire controversy over the aid should have been kept in-house and expressed confidence that it would have all worked out had it not been made public.
“I was always convinced that once President Trump met President Zelensky, those two were going to hit it off great and now all of a sudden Ukraine would be Trump’s best friend,” he said. “I’ve just always believed that. I think it’s true. So this didn’t have to be exposed.”
In fact, Trump only lifted the hold on military aid to Ukraine after learning about an anonymous whistleblower complaint that alleged he was trying to shake down the country until it launched probes of the president’s political opponents.