Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) argued that Nancy Pelosi’s accusation that President Trump “bribed” the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son or he would withdraw financial aid is “ridiculous.”
“It’s ridiculous. I mean, just—it’s just ridiculous. There are four fundamental facts. Those facts will never change,” Jordan replied to Audie Cornish, a U.S. journalist and NPR co-host, about the House speaker’s claim.
On the one hand, there is the transcript of the call. “Even the Democrats have said that there was no linkage, no conditions, no quid pro quo in that transcript,” Jordan emphasized.
On the other hand, both President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, stated that there was no pressure nor demands in their communications with regard to investigating the Bidens, or Burisma—the controversial company that hired Hunter Biden—he detailed.
In addition, “The Ukrainians never even knew that the aid had been held at the time of the call. And most importantly, we know that the Ukrainians took no action to get the aid released,” he added.
‘A justified concern’
When Cornish suggested that the White House was forced to release aid because it was caught holding it, Jordan dismissed it, explaining that President Trump had up to four face-to-face meetings with Zelenskiy—in addition to the famous July 25 phone call—because he “had a justified concern.”
“The aid’s held on July 18. It’s released on September 11,” he continued. “But what did happen in those 55 days is people like Vice President Pence, Ambassador Bolton, Senator Johnson, and others in our government all became convinced,” he said.
“They all advised President Trump to do that. And guess what? On September 11, that’s exactly what the president did,” Jordan added.
“This president who has—not a—who’s not a big fan of foreign aid, who understands that Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries on the planet. In fact, the witness we’re going to have tomorrow, former Ambassador Yovanovitch, said, in Ukraine, corruption is not just prevalent; it’s the system,” he said.
Rudy Giuliani and Bono from U2
At this point, Cornish also asked why Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer, has been included in talks with Ukraine without being an official government employee.
“The president’s allowed to have who he wants involved in diplomatic concerns,” Jordan said. “All I’m saying is presidents have had Bono [U2 leader] do diplomatic missions,” he said.
Later, the reporter reiterated that the impeachment’s key witnesses, acting Ukrainian Ambassador William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent, said at the first hearing that President Trump withheld aid because he wanted to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
“When did President Zelenskiy pledge, promise, or start an investigation into Burisma or the Bidens? Tell me when that happened,” Jordan said to the interviewee. “It didn’t happen. That’s the whole point,” he said.
“The aid was released in spite of a justified concern about what happened in 2016 when so many high-government officials in Ukraine were against the president and for Hillary Clinton,” Jordan recalled.