Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said on Thursday that it wouldn’t be appropriate to attempt to link military aid to help with an election campaign, but insisted that President Donald Trump did not do so with Ukraine.
When MSNBC host Hallie Jackson asked Gaetz, “Is it okay for any politician to trade military aid for political favors?” the Florida Republican deflected by saying he wasn’t present for top diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor’s testimony on Tuesday.
“I do not believe it would be appropriate for any politician to link military aid to assistance in a future election, no,” the Republican lawmaker said when Jackson kept pressing him to answer the question. “And I also don’t think that’s what the President did.”
Invoking the bogus claim that Trump was merely withholding military aid to Ukraine to root out corruption, Gaetz argued the President was “right” to follow up on Attorney General Bill Barr’s investigation into the so-called “corrupt origins” of the Russia probe and a Ukrainian court’s ruling that Ukraine had improperly interfered in the U.S. 2016 election (a ruling that was overturned).
In a damning testimony in the House impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, Taylor told Congress that Trump had frozen the congressionally approved military aide to Ukraine to force Zelensky to publicly announce an investigation into Trump’s debunked conspiracy theories about 2020 candidate Joe Biden and 2016 election interference.
Watch Gaetz below:
Gaetz: “I do not believe it would be appropriate for any politician to link military aid to assistance in a future election" but "I also don't think that's what the President did.” pic.twitter.com/d7Z10pmDek
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 24, 2019