Trump confirms he held up Ukrainian aid

President TrumpDonald John TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries MORE on Tuesday confirmed that he withheld funds from Ukraine amid growing furor over his interactions with the country, arguing he did so because he wanted European nations to contribute more to the cause.

"I want other countries to put up money. I think it’s unfair that we put up the money. Then people called me and said, 'Oh, let it go,' and I let it go," Trump told reporters at the United Nations.

During a meeting later Tuesday morning with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trump said he spoke with acting chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyMulvaney calls out GOP for being 'a lot less interested' in deficits under Trump than Obama: report Overnight Health Care: Senate panel to hold hearing on US coronavirus response | Dems demand Trump withdraw religious provider rule | Trump Medicaid proposal sparks bipartisan backlash Democratic senators urge Trump administration to request emergency funding for coronavirus response MORE, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo to speak to influential Iowa GOP group Giuliani worked for Dominican Republic candidate amid Ukraine efforts: report Pompeo, foreign partners condemn Russian cyberattack on country of Georgia MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis Ross2020 census to run ads on 'Premio lo Nuestro' Can the US slap tariffs on auto imports? Not anymore On The Money: Slowing economy complicates 2020 message for Trump | Tech confronts growing impact of coronavirus | Manufacturing rises after five-month contraction MORE about the aid and questioned why European nations weren't doing more.

ADVERTISEMENT

"So I said, 'Hold it up, let's get other people to pay,' " Trump said. "And then everybody called me, 'Oh please, can we pay it?' "

"And there was never any quid pro quo," he added, before criticizing Hunter Biden's role on the board of a Ukrainian gas company while his father, Joe BidenJoe Biden'Where's your spoon?' What we didn't learn in the latest debate Sanders nabs endorsement from Congressional Hispanic Caucus member Poll: Sanders holds 7-point lead in crucial California primary MORE, was vice president.

Multiple news outlets reported Monday night that Trump ordered millions of dollars in military aid for Ukraine be withheld just days before a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump has since acknowledged that he brought up Joe Biden, the current 2020 Democratic presidential front-runner, as well as corruption on the same call, alarming Democrats.

Trump on Tuesday indicated he had no regrets about holding up the funds, which were intended to help Ukraine combat Russian aggression, saying France, Germany and others should put forward more money. The funds were released after lawmakers in both parties criticized the delay.

"Those funds were paid. They were fully paid but my complaint has always been — and I’ll withhold again and I’ll continue to withhold until such time as Europe and other nations contribute to Ukraine, because they're not doing it," Trump said.

The president has twice denied there was any explicit quid pro quo involving the aid and an investigation into Biden and his son's activities in Ukraine.

Trump is scheduled to meet with Zelensky on Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations.

More than a dozen Democrats have come out in favor of impeachment since Monday as information trickles out about Trump's interactions with Ukraine, which were first raised in a whistleblower complaint filed last month.

"It’s nonsense, and when you see the call, when you see the readout of the call, which I assume you’ll see at some point, you’ll understand. That call was perfect," Trump said Tuesday, dismissing the calls for impeachment.

Updated: 12:24 p.m.