U.S. President Donald Trump asked dinner guests how long Ukraine would be able to resist Russian aggression, according to a tape recorded at a 2018 gathering with donors.
"How long would they last in a fight with Russia?" Trump is heard asking in the audio portion of a video recording obtained by U.S. media outlets, including the Associated Press and ABC News, on January 24-25, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.
Someone is heard on the tape saying, "Without us, not very long."
"Without us," Trump repeats.
Trump also asks whether Kyiv felt it was "going to be OK" in its conflict with Russia.
"They feel they're going to be OK if you support them," someone replies.
"It's always us that has to support everyone," says Trump, who then complains that European nations were not doing enough to share the burden.
The U.S. Senate is currently conducting a trial after the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives impeached Trump last month on two articles – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The Democrats have accused Trump of withholding military aid and a White House invitation as a means to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch two investigations that would benefit the U.S. leader’s reelection chances.
Trump dismisses the accusations as a witch hunt and has said his dealings with Zelensky were "perfect."
Since 2014, Kyiv has been engaged in a war in eastern Ukraine against Russia-led forces.