Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on during his inauguration ceremony at the parliament in Kiev on May 20, 2019.
GENYA SAVILOV | AFP | Getty Images
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told reporters during a joint press conference with President Donald Trump that he was not pressured by the U.S. president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
His words came amid a furor over a July 25 phone call between the two world leaders, details of which were released in a summary by the White House on Wednesday. During the call, Trump asked Zelensky to “look into” Biden.
“I think you read everything. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved [in] democratic, open elections of USA,” Zelensky said to the press gathered at the United Nations General Assembly. “We had, I think, good phone call … It was normal. We spoke about many things. I think you read that nobody pushed me.”
Trump added, “In other words, no pressure.”
Earlier this year, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani had publicly called on Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, even though no evidence has emerged of wrongdoing by the former vice president in connection with his son’s work there.
During the July call, 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,” according to the summary.
“Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it, It sounds horrible to me.”
Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said the president’s request to a foreign government to investigate his political rival merits an impeachment inquiry, but Trump maintains his conversation with Zelensky was “perfect” and that there was no “quid pro quo.”
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