NewsTrump proposes loans, not gifts, to aid Ukraine. A new strategy unveiled

Trump proposes loans, not gifts, to aid Ukraine. A new strategy unveiled

Mike Johnson and Donald Trump
Mike Johnson and Donald Trump
Images source: © Getty Images | 2024 Getty Images, Joe Raedle

8:19 AM EDT, April 13, 2024

"We’re thinking about making it in the form of a loan instead of just a gift," former U.S. President Donald Trump announced during a joint press conference with House Speaker Mike Johnson on Friday at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. This statement hints at a potential breakthrough in the stalemate over the aid package for Ukraine.

"We’re looking at it right now, and they’re talking about it, and we’re thinking about making it in the form of a loan instead of just a gif. We keep handing out gifts of billions and billions of dollars, and we’ll take a look at it," Donald Trump remarked while standing beside the Speaker of the House, upon whom the future of U.S. support for Ukraine heavily relies. Trump also emphasized the importance of increasing Europe's involvement.

Trump's comments come as some Republicans continue to obstruct any aid packages for Ukraine. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a close ally of Trump, warned of removing Chairman Johnson from office if he attempts to bring the package to a vote.

During the conference, Trump defended Johnson, stating that he is performing "as well as could be expected," given the narrow, unanimous majority of Republicans in the House.

Commentators, including those from the Bloomberg agency, interpreted Johnson's visit to Trump's estate in Florida as an effort to seek "protection" from the former President from far-right attacks and to facilitate aid for Ukraine. Although the Speaker initially pledged to propose an alternative aid package for Ukraine based on loans this week, he failed due to resistance from some congressmen within his party.

Trump sets a condition

Trump's statement might pave the way for addressing the issue next week, yet the road to enacting the necessary measures for further support for Ukraine remains uncertain.

On Thursday, Democratic leader in the House Hakeem Jeffries, when questioned by PAP about Johnson's alternative package for Ukraine, mentioned that the only feasible option is to pass the bill that the Senate approved in February. This package, valued at $95 billion, includes $60 billion designated for supporting Ukraine, with the remaining funds intended to aid Israel and Indo-Pacific nations.

The main subject of the Trump-Johnson conference was "election integrity," featuring the announcement of a bill requiring voters to present proof of U.S. citizenship. Without presenting evidence, Johnson suggested that the November elections could potentially be influenced by the votes of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who are ineligible to vote.

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