Ukraine president: ‘No blackmail’ in conversation with Trump

Trump’s case against whistleblower descends deeper into incoherence
   10/09/19 10:28 AM

Trump’s case against whistleblower descends deeper into incoherence 10/09/19 10:28 AM

Trump and other Biden critics question how Hunter Biden, who reportedly knew little about the energy business and the country, ended up on Burisma's board while his father was vice president and spearheaded Ukraine relations under President Barack Obama.

The former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, is expected to testify before Congress today as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

"I think when people talk on the phone, they change their tone of conversation, depending on the results they want to get", Mr. Zelensky said in response to a question from The Globe and Mail about whether he'd behave the same way in a conversation with Mr. Putin.

While Zelensky has made similar claims in recent weeks, the ongoing effort to distance himself from Trump's political mess is notable. The memo, later turned over to congressional investigators, suggested that its author, who has not been publicly identified but referred to by the Washington Examiner as one who could have had "professional" ties with a 2020 Democratic candidate, was contacted by a White House official on the afternoon of the 25 July Trump-Zelensky conversation.

"Within minutes", administration officials told the Post, "senior officials including national security adviser John Bolton were being pinged by subordinates about problems with what the president had said to his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky".

Asked what Ukraine did to persuade the United States to release the aid, Zelenskiy said: 'We have many diplomatic contacts. Trump meanwhile continued to paint the probe as a partisan smear and accused the US intelligence officer who filed the whistleblower complaint that sparked the impeachment row of having political motives.

He said Kiev was open to a joint investigation into Biden but added that Ukraine was an independent country with independent law enforcement agencies that he could not influence.

"There was no blackmail", Zelenskiy said.

But the deference Mr. Zelensky showed to Mr. Trump on the July 25 call raises questions about how he would fare in one-on-one negotiations with Mr. Putin, the former KGB agent who has ruled Russian Federation for two decades. "And in case we need to find a solution to questions of this level, questions about our country's security, we use all our powerful possibilities".

A TV and film comedian, Zelenskiy overwhelmingly won the presidency in April on promises to fight corruption and end the five-year conflict with Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

"I wanted to drag him into Ukraine", Zelensky said.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy's aptly named "media marathon" in a Kyiv food court Thursday started over breakfast croissants.

Mr Trump's personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani also alleges some officials in Ukraine conspired to help Mr Trump's Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.

Mr Trump has said the U.S. has an "absolute right" to ask foreign leaders to investigate corruption cases, though no-one has produced evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the Bidens.

Trump responded to Zelensky's comments as well, saying on Twitter that he had done "nothing wrong".

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