scorecard
  1. Home
  2. Politics
  3. world
  4. news
  5. Trump says the Ukraine-Russia crisis never would've occurred under him, but he withheld military aid from Kyiv and experts say he emboldened Putin

Trump says the Ukraine-Russia crisis never would've occurred under him, but he withheld military aid from Kyiv and experts say he emboldened Putin

John Haltiwanger   

Trump says the Ukraine-Russia crisis never would've occurred under him, but he withheld military aid from Kyiv and experts say he emboldened Putin
  • Former President Donald Trump said the Ukraine-Russia crisis never would've happened on his watch.
  • But Trump was impeached, in part, for withholding millions in military aid to Ukraine.

Former President Donald Trump on Monday said the escalating Russia-Ukraine crisis never would've happened on his watch, ignoring the fact that he was impeached over a scandal involving the withholding of military aid to Kyiv, while pressuring it to investigate his political rivals.

"What's happening with Russia and Ukraine would never have happened under the Trump administration. Not even a possibility," Trump said.

Trump was impeached in 2019 partly because he'd pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, then one of his top political rivals, while freezing about $400 million in vital military aid to the former Soviet republic.

The Trump administration officially put a hold on the aid roughly 90 minutes after Trump's infamous July 25 phone call with Zelensky, in which he urged the Ukrainian leader to launch an inquiry into Biden and his son Hunter Biden over baseless allegations of corruption. The military aid was released to Ukraine months later after Trump was made aware a whistleblower complaint was filed in relation to the July 25 phone call.

Since Russia invaded and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, Ukrainian forces have been engaged in a war against Kremlin-backed rebels in the eastern Donbass region. The US has provided Ukraine with billions in military aid since that year, but Trump threw a wrench into that support in 2019.

Throughout his presidency, Trump expressed admiration for autocratic leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin, while criticizing US allies and institutions like NATO. Experts say Trump's amicable disposition toward Putin and disdain for international and democratic norms emboldened the Russian president, as well as other strongmen leaders around the world.

Fiona Hill, who served as the top Russia advisor on the National Security Council in the Trump administration, in a New York Times op-ed on Monday said Trump's influence on the US gave Putin an opportunity to renew aggression toward Ukraine.

"From Russia's perspective, America's domestic travails after four years of President Donald Trump's disastrous presidency, as well as the rifts he created with US allies and then America's precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan, signal weakness," Hill, who was a key witness in Trump's first impeachment, said.

READ MORE ARTICLES ON




Advertisement