Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) reportedly told a constituent at an event in Sheboygan, Wisc., that he was blocked by President Trump from telling the Ukrainian president that U.S. aid was coming, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Johnson was part of the U.S. delegation that went to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration in May. When he returned, Johnson said he—along with Trump’s top Ukraine envoys Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker—attempted to convince Trump to “show a great deal of support” to the new Ukrainian government, but he was not receptive. “I was surprised by the president’s reaction and realized we had a sales job to do,” Johnson said. “I tried to convince him [in August] to give me the authority to tell President Zelensky that we were going to provide that. Now, I didn’t succeed.” Johnson also told reporters that Trump was considering withholding the aid due to alleged corruption in the 2016 election. “What happened in 2016? What happened in 2016? What was the truth about that?” Johnson said of Trump’s concerns.
Trump admitted to withholding aid prior to having a July 25 phone call with Zelensky, in which he pushed the country to investigate corruption allegations against Biden. Trump also asked Zelensky to help Attorney General Bill Barr gather evidence for an investigation into Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe—which concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.