Politics Trump: I was asking Zelensky to help America, not me

08:15  05 december  2019
08:15  05 december  2019 Source:   politico.com

How Republicans’ latest defenses of the Trump-Zelensky call fall short

  How Republicans’ latest defenses of the Trump-Zelensky call fall short It has become the linchpin of Democrats' case against Trump.At the time of the call, multiple witnesses were perplexed why Trump was holding up military aid to Ukraine. Others couldn’t understand why Trump was reluctant to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Oval Office. They testified that when they heard the call or read its transcript months later it all clicked for them. Trump was holding these things back to get Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky denies quid pro quo, pushes back on Trump 's corruption criticism. Jeanine Santucci. In the interview by Time Magazine, Zelensky denied that he and Trump discussed the withholding of military aid as being tied to political investigations Trump was asking for.

Zelensky : America , first of all, has its direct relations with Russia. Interviewer: When did you first sense that there was a connection between Trump 's decision to block military aid to Ukraine this summer and the two investigations that Trump and his allies were asking for?

It depends upon what the meaning of the word “us” is.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump.© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images President Donald Trump.

As the impeachment inquiries against President Donald Trump rocket forward, Trump tried Wednesday night to reframe the context of the phone call that sparked House Democrats' impeachment investigation. Rather than asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on his domestic political rivals, Trump claimed that he had asked Zelensky to somehow help the nation as a whole.

"When I said, in my phone call to the President of Ukraine, 'I would like you to do US a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.' With the word 'us' I am referring to the United States, our Country," Trump tweeted.

Putin and Zelensky in first talks to revive Ukraine peace efforts

  Putin and Zelensky in first talks to revive Ukraine peace efforts The leaders of Russia and Ukraine will meet on Monday for talks on the conflict in east Ukraine, in what could be a step forward in ending Europe's only active war. The summit in Paris will mark the first time Russia's Vladimir Putin meets face-to-face with Ukraine's new comedian-turned-president, Volodymyr Zelensky. Few are expecting an immediate breakthrough, but Zelensky's election this year and a recent easing of tensions have raised hopes of resolving the five-year conflict.

Zelensky ’s focus during the interview, as it has been throughout his time in office, was on the effort to end Ukraine’s war against Russia and its proxies First is a prisoner exchange, a real exchange within a clear timeframe. Second is , I think, very difficult, and that’s a ceasefire. It was laid down in all the

Democrats have been accusing Trump of pressuring Zelensky to investigate 2020 candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter and his business dealings in Ukraine Asked by a Russian journalist if he had or hadn’t been pressured by Trump , Zelensky said: “No one is able to put pressure on me , since I am

Trump's tweet revealed his simmering frustration with the impeachment process, which House Democrats aim to conclude by the end of the month. The House Judiciary Committee began its public impeachment hearings Wednesday, piggy-backing off the explosive hearings and report by the House Intelligence Committee. Even during his trip to London for a NATO summit, Trump couldn't find respite, as world leaders appeared to mock him behind his back.

During the July 25 phone call between the two heads of state, Trump asked Zelensky to "do us a favor" by cooperating with Attorney General William Barr and launching an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's family. Though Trump claimed Wednesday that it was part of a request to assist the United States, House Democrats and numerous officials within the administration found it was personally politically driven.

Adam Schiff: President Trump ‘Doesn’t Give a Sh*t’ About What’s Good for America

  Adam Schiff: President Trump ‘Doesn’t Give a Sh*t’ About What’s Good for America The Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee spoke out in a New Yorker interview.The New Yorker on Friday published an interview with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). He spoke about the impeachment inquiry hearings he presided over, his Committee’s subsequent report, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging the Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Zelensky also chided Trump for calling Ukraine a corrupt country, a characterization that he said When America says, for instance, that Ukraine is a corrupt country, that is the hardest of signals. 1. (On the July call, Trump asked Zelensky to open up a corruption investigation of Joe and Hunter

1 Mr. Trump alludes to American aid, while not explicitly linking his request to unfreezing it. 4 Mr. Trump is pushing Mr. Zelensky to deal directly with Mr. Giuliani, his personal lawyer and close ally. 6 Mr. Zelensky promises to do what Mr. Trump is asking — launch an investigation into the Bidens

Video provided by MSNBC

Trump has repeatedly called his conversation with Zelensky a "perfect" phone call, and his team has argued that the ask was part of an anti-corruption investigation.

Trump has also said in the past that he would not be opposed to receiving opposition research from a foreign entity, even though accepting foreign aid in an election is illegal.

The House Intelligence Committee found in its report that Trump not only abused his influence over Ukraine — a country reliant on U.S. aid in its war against Russia — but also that he attempted to obstruct their investigation by refusing to allow administration officials to testify.

Trump retorted by claiming House Democrats found no concrete evidence and mocked House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) as a "deranged human being" during the NATO summit.

"The Democrats should apologize to the American people!" Trump tweeted Wednesday.

Top Ukrainian official Dmytro Kuleba: All we ask for is fair treatment .
Amid the US impeachment scandal that has ensnared Ukraine, a top official from the Zelensky government said Friday that his country is only seeking fair treatment from the United States and stressed the strong relationship between the two countries. Dmytro Kuleba, the deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration -- whose visit to Washington coincided with the House Judiciary Committee's markup and vote on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump -- downplayed the impact that those developments could have on US-Ukraine relations. Instead he highlighted the importance of the alliance.

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