Trump was thrown into rage by subject of Ukraine, former aide says: 'They...tried to screw me'

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Former President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
Former President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images
  • Charles Kupperman served as former President Donald Trump's deputy national security adviser.

  • At a 2019 meeting, he said, Trump grew irate when the subject turned to Ukraine.

  • "He just let loose," Kupperman told The New York Times.

Former President Donald Trump threw a fit and launched into a profanity-laced rant at a 2019 meeting when the topic of Ukraine came up, according to a former aide, falsely accusing the country of trying to defeat him in the 2016 US election.

Speaking to The New York Times Magazine, Charles Kupperman, then serving as deputy national security adviser, accused his former boss of being incapable of understanding global politics and the importance of Ukraine. For him, Kupperman said, it was all personal.

Video: Ukrainian president Zelensky comments on war

That became clear in a May 23, 2019, meeting. According to Kupperman, who left the Trump administration five months later, Trump "just let loose" when the topic of Ukraine came up.

"They're [expletive] corrupt. They [expletive] tried to screw me,'" Trump said, Kupperman told The Times.

Later that year, Trump was impeached by the House after withholding some $400 million in security aide for Ukraine that had been approved by Congress, telling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksyy in a September phone call that he first wanted a "favor": that he publicly announce an investigation into his rival's son, Hunter Biden. He also asked for an investigation into the unsubstantiated claim it was Ukraine — not Russia — that interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign.

"I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike... The server, they say Ukraine has it," Trump told Zelenskyy, referencing a false claim — pushed by his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and Russian intelligence — that Kyiv had sought to aid the presidential campaign of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In his interview with the Times, Kupperman said it was clear this — and manufacturing dirt on the Biden family — was the extent of his interest in Ukraine.

"If one were to ask him to define 'balance of power,' he wouldn't know what that concept was," Kupperman said. "He'd have no idea about the history of Ukraine and why it's in the front pages today. He wouldn't know that Stalin starved that country. Those are the contextual points one has to take into account in the making of foreign policy. But he wasn't capable of it, because he had no understanding of history: how these countries and their leadership evolved, what makes these countries tick."

Read the original article on Business Insider