Trump Told U.N. Last Year He Was 'Taking a Hard Look at U.S. Foreign Aid'

By Susan Jones | September 24, 2019 | 8:52am EDT
President Donald Trump addresses the 2018 U.N. General Assembly. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - One year ago, President Donald Trump stated his intention to take a "hard look" at U.S. foreign aid.

Trump said this in his speech to the 2018 United Nations General Assembly:

The United States is the world’s largest giver in the world, by far, of foreign aid. But few give anything to us. That is why we are taking a hard look at U.S. foreign assistance. That will be headed up by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We will examine what is working, what is not working, and whether the countries who receive our dollars and our protection also have our interests at heart.

Moving forward, we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and, frankly, are our friends. And we expect other countries to pay their fair share for the cost of their defense.

Late last month, on August 29, 2019, Politico reported that the Pentagon, at the request of the Trump White House, had "completed a review of military assistance to Ukraine...and concluded that the aid should continue."

"'The department has reviewed the foreign assistance package and supports it,' a senior Defense Department official told POLITICO."

The White House released the almost $400 million in military assistance to Ukraine on Sept. 11, thirteen days after the Defense Department finished its review.

Today, the president is under fire for temporarily withholding that U.S. military aid to Ukraine, pending a July phone call with the new Ukrainian president.

Trump's political enemies insist that he withheld the Ukraine aid in an effort to pressure the new Ukraine president to reopen a corruption investigation into the Biden family's dealings with that country.

Hunter Biden, the troubled son of former Vice President Joe Biden, landed a lucrative position with the Ukraine gas company Burisma Holdings when his father was part of the Obama administration.

Joe Biden admits he threatened to withhold U.S. loan guarantees for Ukraine in 2016 unless a prosecutor investigating corruption, including alleged corruption at Burisma, was removed. The prosecutor was fired immediately, Biden said.

A Biden spokesperson is quoted as saying that Biden pushed for the ouster of the Ukraine prosecutor "without any regard for how it would or would not impact any business interests of his son, a private citizen.”

Calls for Trump's impeachment swelled overnight, as Democrats linked the withholding of Ukraine aid to Trump's personal interests in damaging his possible political rival Joe Biden.

Trump told reporters on Monday there was no quid pro quo in his phone call with the Ukraine leader: “I did not ask for — I did not make a statement that you have to do this or I'm not going to give you aid. I wouldn't do that. I wouldn't do that."

On Sunday, Trump said he did mention the Bidens in his phone call: "The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, with largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place and largely the fact that we don't want our people like Vice President Biden and his son [contributing] to the corruption already in the Ukraine."

On this Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m., House Democrats -- many of them bent on impeachment since Trump was elected -- are meeting to discuss possible impeachment proceedings stemming from Trump's dealings with Ukraine. And this is happening even before details of the whistleblower complaint -- reportedly dealing with Trump's phone call -- are known.


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