RELEASE: Trump’s Attempted Shakedown of Ukraine Undermines U.S. Efforts to Fight Global Corruption

Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump’s attempted shakedown of Ukraine is a colossal blow to U.S. efforts to fight corruption around the world, according to a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress.

Besides being a gross abuse of power and an impeachable offense, Trump has undermined Ukraine’s fragile democracy and dealt a significant blow to U.S. credibility on anti-corruption issues. Before Trump’s election, the United States had long been a global leader in anti-corruption efforts. Fighting corruption means standing up for core American values. It is also a vital national security consideration because corruption is a deeply destabilizing force that enables terrorism and human rights abuses and contributes to civil unrest and state failure in fragile nations.

“In perhaps the first time in U.S. history, an American president is seeking to export his own corruption to a vulnerable government,” said Trevor Sutton, a fellow for National Security and International Policy at CAP and co-author of the brief. “That is a tragedy for the United States, for Ukraine, and for the world.”

The brief argues that the United States must do more than it has to date to identify and block transactions linked to corrupt activities and degrade kleptocratic networks that eat away at the rule of law and that empower anti-democratic and illiberal forces.

Read the issue brief: “Donald Trump’s Gift to Kleptocrats” by Trevor Sutton and Alexandra Schmitt

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at or 202-478-6327.