President Trump on Tuesday said that the reason he blocked aid to the Ukraine was because he wanted other countries to help out. Reporters at the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York pressed the president as to why he ordered the aid to be held a week before he reportedly pressured his Ukrainian counterpart during a July phone call to provide opposition research on his political rival Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Trump responded: “... I want other countries to put up money. I think it’s unfair we put up the money... We paid the money. But very importantly, Germany, France, other countries should put up money.” Senior Ukrainian officials have said they were blindsided in July when they discovered that the U.S. wasn’t releasing military aid.
When asked by reporters what he thinks of the renewed calls for his impeachment in light of the phone call, Trump denied that he pressured the Ukrainian president and returned to his claim of a conspiracy against him. “I think it’s ridiculous. It’s a witch hunt. I’m leading in the polls. They have no idea how they stop me,” Trump said. “... 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. ... There was no pressure put on them whatsoever. But there was pressure put on with respect to Joe Biden. What Joe Biden did for his son, that’s something they should be looking at.”