Trump hopes 'they release' his call with Ukraine's president, in which he says he talked about both Joe and Hunter Biden and 'corruption taking place'
Associated Press/Evan Vucci, AP
- Amid calls from Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, for the White House to release a transcript of a call between President Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine, Trump told reporters he talked about both Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, because of "all of the corruption taking place."
- On a July 25 call with President Vladimir Zelensky, Trump asked the Ukraine leader to investigate Hunter eight times, multiple news outlets reported Friday, citing intelligence sources. Now, Trump says he hopes "they release" the call.
- Before leaving the White House for an event with India's prime minister in Houston, Trump told reporters his conversation with Zelensky "was largely the fact that we don't want our people, like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the [sic] corruption already in the Ukraine."
- The president also said he'd have "no problem" with his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, speaking to Congress about Trump's interactions with Ukraine, including Giuliani's reported meetings with top Ukrainian officials to discuss an investigation into Hunter Biden.
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While speaking to reporters Sunday morning outside the White House, President Donald Trump said he discussed both former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in a phone call with Ukraine's president that has become the latest international scandal to plague Trump's administration. Trump said he hopes "they release" the call."The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, was largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place," Trump said, per tweets from White House correspondents. "It was largely the fact that we don't want our people, like Vice President Biden and his son creating to [sic] the corruption already in the Ukraine."Advertisement
Joe Biden has issued a statement asking for Trump's administration to release a transcript of the July 25 call, "so that the American people can judge for themselves." Multiple news outlets reported Friday that Trump pressured President Vladimir Zelensky eight separate times to investigate Hunter Biden on the call.
Trump's call with the Ukrainian president concerns Hunter Biden's business dealings and is likely the subject of a whistleblower complaint about a "promise" made to a foreign government
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for World Food Program USA
"I mean give me a break, he's already said he spoke to his son and now he said yesterday very firmly. Who wouldn't speak to your son? Of course you spoke to your son," Trump said.The president also said he'd have "no problem" with his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, talking to Congress about his interactions with Ukraine. Giuliani reportedly met with top Ukrainian officials to discuss an investigation into Hunter Biden, who served on the board of directors of a Ukranian natural gas company from 2014 to April 2019.Read more: A mysterious exchange between Trump and a foreign leader is Washington's latest obsession. Here's what is actually going on.Advertisement
Days after Hunter Biden began his tenure on the board of the natural gas company in Ukraine, then-Vice President Joe Biden traveled to the country and urged the Ukranian government to reduce its dependency on Russia for natural gas, suggesting that the US could provide technical expertise to expand domestic production.
Critics of the diplomatic move said the US was attempting to maneuver open access to the Ukraine's shale gas reserves, and suggested that Hunter Biden's role exhibited a conflict of interest. Also, Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion of loan guarantees if the then-Ukranian General Prosecutor was not fired from his position.Giuliani has stated that the prosecutor was fired for investigating the company Hunter Biden served on the board of for corruption. Trump espoused that same viewpoint, but reports indicate that the prosecutor was fired due to his failure to pursue corruption investigations.Advertisement
Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS
Trump tweeted a quote from Laura Ingraham's Fox News segment Sunday morning stating that "The real story involves Hunter Biden going around the world and collecting large payments from foreign governments and foreign oligarchs." In the same tweet, he claimed that "Hunter made a fortune in Ukraine and in China. He knew nothing about Energy, or anything else."The president's call with Ukraine has become a matter of congressional interest, starting with a whistleblower complaint filed to the acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, who Trump praised to reporters on Sunday, calling him a "great gentleman" who is "only going to do what's right."Advertisement
Read more: Biden demanded Trump release transcripts of a call where he reportedly badgered Ukraine's leader to investigate his son 8 times
Federal law required Maguire to submit the complaint to Congress within seven days, but Maguire did not comply. His failure to submit prompted the original recipient of the complaint to report his inaction to the Senate and House intelligence committees, which he did in a letter that did not offer details on the complaint's substance.Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff has suggested that, in failing to submit the complaint and taking the unusual step to consult with the Justice Department, Maguire was "engaged in an unlawful effort to protect the President and conceal from the Committee information related to his possible 'serious of flagrant' misconduct, abuse of power, or violation of the law."Advertisement
Starting Thursday, The Washington Post reported that the complaint involved Trump's phone call with Ukraine, and in particular, a "promise" he made.
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