Clockwise from top left: Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
When President Trump spoke to Volodymyr Zelenskiy on July 25th, Trump held the keys to two things the new Ukranian president needed in order to demonstrate he had full U.S. backing to push back on Russian aggression: military assistance and an Oval Office meeting. Both would send a necessary signal that the U.S.-Ukraine alliance was strong.
But the alliance was on shaky ground. In the months leading up to the call, Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani pressed Ukrainian officials to launch investigations that stood to benefit the president politically. Trump was also withholding the White House meeting Zelenskiy coveted, in addition to military aid that was already approved by Congress. […]
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