Thursday, October 10, 2019

Ukraine's president says 'no blackmail' in Trump call

Ukraine president says 'no blackmail' in Trump call. "This is not corruption, it was just a call."
Zelensky said the transcript released by the White House is accurate and he knew the U.S. had withheld $400 million in military aid due to concerns about corruption and concern for American "taxpayer money."
But the issue, he said, was never linked to Trump's desire that Kiev rekindle an investigation into an energy company with ties to Hunter Biden.
The major reason Zelensky was elected was to battle corruption, and he shared Trump's concerns.
BBC: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said there was "no blackmail" in a phone call with Donald Trump that is at the heart of the impeachment attempt.
"This is not corruption, it was just a call," President Zelensky said on Thursday.
The call prompted a whistleblower complaint and Democratic impeachment inquiry.
Trump denies withholding US aid while pressuring Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference in Kiev on Thursday, Zelensky said of his July 25th call with Trump: "There was no blackmail. It was not the subject of our conversation."
He said the purpose of the conversation was to arrange a meeting with Trump, and there were no "conditions" from the U.S. side.
A rough transcript of the call released by the White House shows Mr Trump asked Mr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, now a Democratic frontrunner for next year's White House election.
His son, Hunter Biden, landed a lucrative board position in 2014 with a Ukrainian gas firm that found itself under scrutiny from a former prosecutor general.
As US vice-president Mr Biden, like other Western officials, put pressure on Ukraine in 2016 to have the prosecutor fired, citing corruption concerns.

"This is not corruption," Mr Zelensky says of the chat that has triggered a US impeachment inquiry.