White House counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared unsure whether President Donald Trump had previously withheld aid to Ukraine, telling CNN in an interview: “I don’t know whether aid was being held up and for how long.”
Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Conway appeared to evade questions around whether aid had been withheld from Ukraine as part of a quid pro quo arrangement, later saying she did not know whether this was the case.
President Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is at the center of an impeachment inquiry announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in September following whistleblower allegations that claim Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate potential political rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Aid to the country was held up around the time of the call, but Trump has denied he pressured Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens or that aid was withheld to the Ukraine as part of a quid pro quo.
“They have the aid, they’re using the aid,” Conway responded after CNN host Dana Bash asked whether aid to Ukraine had been held up in exchange for an investigation into the Bidens.
“I think if you’re going to do, respectfully, what Adam Schiff does, which is come out and cherry pick ten seconds or ten minutes out of ten hours’ worth of testimony, we have no access to the full testimony because everything has been done in the dark, in secret.
“That process has been flawed from the beginning, we cannot unscramble the egg, put the toothpaste back in the tube now…” she continued before Bash interrupted and once again asked whether aid was withheld.
“They’ve got their aid now,” Conway repeated. When asked again, directly, whether aid was withheld to Ukraine because Trump wanted the Bidens investigated, Conway said: “I don’t know. But they’ve got their aid now.”
“Here’s what’s absolutely, unimpeachably true—Ukraine has that aid. They have more aid than they had under the previous administration,” Conway said.
Pushed once again on whether Trump withheld military aid on a quid pro quo basis, Conway responded: “No quid pro quo in this call, in terms of the president.
“President Trump never said to the Ukrainian president do this and you’ll get your aid, it’s simply not here,” she continued, holding up the transcript.
Bash pressed her once again, saying: “Kellyanne you very notably won’t say yes or no. Quid pro quo; yes or no?”
Conway responded: “I just said to you I don’t know whether aid was being held up or for how long.”