Donald Trump on Sunday acknowledged that he raised corruption charges against Joe Biden in a conversation with Ukraine’s leader. Unknown is whether Trump used U.S. military aid as leverage to pressure Ukraine to pursue an investigation into his 2020 rival.
Trump again basically confesses to asking the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden: "Certainly I'd have every right to … what I said was so good. It was a great conversation. It was a really great conversation. And everybody will say that." pic.twitter.com/htLVyyF7RF— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 22, 2019
Trump reportedly called on Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden eight times on the phone call.
Said Trump when asked if he had urged the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden: “Certainly I’d have every right to if there’s corruption and we’re paying lots of money to a country. We don’t want a country that we’re paying massive aid to to be corrupting our system, and we don’t want it to be corrupt in any way. … What I said was so good. It was a great conversation. It was a really great conversation. And everybody will say that.”
Biden laid into Trump at an Iowa campaign stop over the weekend.
Trump said he would consider releasing a transcript of the call: “I’m going to talk about it. But you have to be a little bit shy about doing that. People don’t like that and I don’t like the concept of it.”
Ukraine said it was blindsided when aid from the U.S. was not forthcoming: ‘By the time of that July 25 call, the administration had already suspended the aid, a decision reached in early July, according to a former American official. But the news would not reach the Ukranian officials until much later, and then through nonofficial channels. For years, Ukranian officials had coordinated with the Pentagon, the State Department and members of Congress on military aid.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter to colleagues suggesting that continued blocking of the whistleblower complaint by Trump would bring impeachment closer: “If the administration persists in blocking this whistle-blower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the president, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation.”