Trump says it ‘doesn't matter’ if he talked of investigating Biden with Ukraine president (it does)
The Wall Street Journal and New York Times are both reporting late Friday that during a July phone call between the two leaders, President Donald Trump repeatedly urged the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden's son.
Eight times, to be precise.
Trump, as he always does, denies it.
“It’s a ridiculous story. It’s a partisan whistle-blower,” Donald Trump told reporters in the Oval Office late Friday, without identifying who the person was or on what facts this statement is based.
“They shouldn’t even have information,” he continued.
Biden, a former U.S. vice president and current Democratic presidential candidate, has not yet responded to the reports.
From the Wall Street Journal's report:
President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ’s son, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on a probe, according to people familiar with the matter.
“He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” if his lawyer’s assertions that Mr. Biden acted improperly as vice president were true, one of the people said. Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of U.S. aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on any investigation.
Mr. Giuliani in June and August met with top Ukrainian officials about the prospect of an investigation, he said in an interview. The Trump lawyer has suggested Mr. Biden as vice president worked to shield from investigation a Ukrainian gas company with ties to his son, Hunter Biden. A Ukrainian official earlier this year said he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden or his son.
The White House won't confirm, and Biden's campaign won't respond.
On Friday, Trump defended his July call Ukraine president Zelensky as “totally appropriate.”
He would not answer a reporter's question about whether he had asked Zelensky to investigate former vice president Biden.
“It doesn’t matter what I discussed,” Trump said.
Trump then repeated his demand that Joe Biden be investigated for his purported role in ousting Ukraine’s prosecutor general.
“Somebody ought to look into that," Trump told reporters.