Amid the controversy surrounding Democratic accusations of President Donald Trump withholding aid to Ukraine, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Nov. 17 dismissed these claims and explained that the president will only release the funds to trusted individuals.
Jordan, during his Sunday appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” told host Margaret Brennan that the aid was released “because of the whistleblower,” but rather, because Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was “worth the risk” for the $391 million of taxpayer money.
“Because President Zelenskiy met five times with senior U.S. officials. One, of course, was the phone call with President Trump. And then four meetings, actually face-to-face meetings, with U.S. senators, ambassadors, with Vice President Pence. And in each of those meetings, never was it talked about linking the security assistance dollars to any type of investigations,” Jordan explained. “But what did happen in those meetings is they all became convinced Zelensky’s the real deal.”
The Jordan then pointed out that it is only understandable that President Trump hung onto the large sum of aid before ensuring its recipient is capable of handling it wisely.
“We’re talking about Ukraine, one of three most corrupt countries on the planet. And we’re talking about the hard earned dollars of the American people,” Jordan told CBS host Brennan. “They became convinced that this media star—this new guy to politics, his party just won an overwhelming majority in their Parliament—was the real deal. He was worth the risk. And they said, ‘We’ll release the aid.'”
When asked by Brennan why the aid was released two days later on Sept. 11 after the Sept. 9 whistleblower complaint, Jordan explained that the aid “didn’t have to be released till September 30th” while taking a jab at Democrats who alleged of a quid pro quo in the July 25 phone call.
“The Ukrainians did nothing to—as far as investigations goes—to get the aid released,” Jordan said. “So there was never this quid pro quo that the Democrats all promise existed before President Trump released the phone call.”
Jordan then slammed House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) when Brennan asked if American diplomat David Holmes and ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, will appear to testify to reveal a so-called quid pro quo between the president and Ukraine.
“That’s Adam Schiff. Adam Schiff controls the witness list. We gave our list. He doesn’t give us the witnesses we want and he can call witnesses anytime he wants. We had to give our list last Saturday,” Jordan pointed out, explaining the lack of equal treatment in the process. “Just one of the many problems and, and unfairness of this process. So I’m sure Mr. Holmes will get called by the Democrats. He’ll come in and we’ll have him under oath in front of the committee, in front of the cameras and we’ll ask him questions, and we’ll see how his story holds up.”
Schiff has yet to give approval to any of the nine witnesses requested by Republicans on Saturday despite touting in a Tuesday letter, “The process will be fair to the president, the committee members” and “intended to bring the facts to light for the American people.”
Democratic lawmakers have not been able to establish any wrongdoing by President Trump to date.