Nobody pushed me: Ukraines president at photo-op with Trump on transcript
President Donald Trump on Wednesday repeatedly tried to dismiss the significance of a call he had with Ukraine’s president after the White House released a transcript, telling reporters, “There was no pressure. The way you had it built up, that call, it was going to be the call from hell.”
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After those comments Wednesday morning, Trump, who coincidentally had an afternoon photo-op at the United Nations with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, got some support for his argument — from Zelenskiy.
Asked by reporters if he felt any pressure from Trump to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter — as Democrats say the transcript shows — Zelenskiy responded in fractured English: “I’m sorry but I don’t want to be involved to democratic … open …. elections, elections of U.S.A. No, you heard that we had, I think, good phone call. It was normal, we spoke about many things, and I, so I think and you read it that nobody pushed it, nobody pushed me.”
“In other words, no pressure,” Trump quickly added. “Because you know what there was no pressure. And you know there was no pressure, all you have to do is see it, what went on in the call.”
Asked if he wanted Zelenskiy to do more to investigate Biden, Trump said, “I want him to do whatever he can … because corruption’s massive.”
The White House memo about the call, which it said was based on “notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty officers” and not a verbatim account, shows Trump repeatedly urged Zelenskiy to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Attorney General William Barr to investigate Biden and his son.
“It turned out to be a nothing call other than a lot of people said at the morning UN photo-op. ‘I never knew you could be so nice,'” Trump said.
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump is said to have told Zelenskiy, according to the transcript. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”
“You’d have to ask Rudy,” Pres. Trump says when asked why it was appropriate for his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to be involved in government business.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who on Tuesday called for a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump to go forward, was asked about the transcript as she arrived on Capitol Hill.
She told ABC News she said hadn’t seen it yet but repeated her strong language from the impeachment announcement.
“The fact is that the President of the United States in breach of his constitutional responsibilities has asked a foreign government to help him in his political campaign at the expense of our national security, as well as undermining the integrity of our elections.”
“That cannot stand. He will be held accountable. No one is above the law.”