In a meeting last month, Vice President Mike Pence told the Ukrainian president that the U.S. would withhold military aid until the country took a stance against corruption, The Washington Post reports. During the Sept. 1 meeting in Warsaw, Pence reportedly did not mention the corruption allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky likely thought the “corruption” Pence was talking about was a reference to the corruption investigations into the Bidens that President Trump pushed on Zelensky during a July 25 call, the Post reports. Trump also reportedly told Pence not to attend Zelensky’s inauguration in May.
Sources close to Pence told the Post the vice president was unaware of Trump’s efforts to push for the probes into Biden and his son, and denied the vice president knew he was carrying a coded message to the Sept. 1 meeting. “The president consistently raised concerns about corruption and the lack of burden sharing by European partners, so having run on an anti-corruption campaign, Zelensky was receptive to those messages,” Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, said. “The vice president, as your reporting says, reported back to the president after the meeting and the aid was released.”