Trump confirms he held up Ukrainian aid

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Eighty-eight years of debt pieties 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 MulvaneyMick MulvaneySupreme Court ruling could unleash new legal challenges to consumer bureau Bottom line White House goes through dizzying change in staff MORE, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBack to the future: In January 2021 America needs to rejoin the world and start leading again Iran releases photo of damaged nuclear fuel production site: report To support Hong Kong's freedom, remember America's revolution MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Watchdog accuses Commerce of holding up 'Sharpiegate' report | Climate change erases millennia of cooling: study | Senate nixes proposal limiting Energy Department's control on nuclear agency budget Watchdog accuses Commerce of holding up 'Sharpiegate' probe report Research finds Uighurs targeted by Chinese spyware as part of surveillance campaign 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 BidenTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Susan Rice: Trump picks Putin over troops 'even when it comes to the blood of American service members' Does Donald Trump even want a second term? 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.