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Trump to Ukraine: No Aid Unless You Smear Joe Biden

Unfortunately, Fred Hiatt is right: this is astonishing.

I shouldn’t be astonished, but this is astonishing: The Trump administration denying military aid from an important ally-apparently for one reason only: to corruptly pressure it to interfere in the 2020 election @postopinions @jacksondiehl https :// t.co/ vpoUVh4izE

— Fred Hiatt (@ hiattf) September 6, 2019

We already knew that Donald Trump had sent Rudy Giuliani to press the Ukrainian president to open an investigation of Joe Biden’s son in an effort to hurt Biden. But apparently he’s doing more than merely pressing :

Mr. Zelensky has so far failed to win the backing of President Trump. Not only has Mr. Trump refused to grant the Ukrainian leader a White House visit, but likewise he has suspended its implementation of $ 250 million in U.S. military aid to a country still fighting Russian aggressivenes in its eastern provinces.

Some suspect Mr. Trump is once again catering to Mr. Putin, who is dedicated to undermining Ukrainian democracy and independence. But we’re reliably told that the president has a second and more venal schedule: He is attempting to force Mr. Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 U.S. general elections by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. 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 gouge it.

This week’s obsession with Sharpiegate was all good fun, but today we learned that Trump, as usual, is taking it extremely, very seriously indeed: he strong-armed NOAA into issuing a late-Friday press release saying, wrongly, that Alabama had been in danger from Hurricane Dorian all along. In the great scheme of things, this doesn’t matter much except as yet another example of how Trump operates. On a much bigger, more corrupted scale it’s the same thing that’s happening with Ukraine.

Read more: motherjones.com

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