Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who tried unsuccessfully last summer to get President Donald Trump to reinstate military aid for Ukraine, bitterly complained on Friday that the government didn’t do enough to cover up President Donald Trump’s efforts to push the Ukrainian government to investigate prospective 2020 rival Joe Biden.
Politico reports that Johnson said he believed the entire controversy had harmed relations between Ukraine and the United States, and he expressed confidence that Trump could have been convinced to release military aid to the country if government officials had kept their misgivings about the hold in house.
“It never should have got exposed outside of the agencies,” he said. “It just shouldn’t have. If these guys are really trying to help Ukraine, it hasn’t helped.”
Johnson further explained that he believed Trump would have lifted the aid once he met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in person.
“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.