How Trump is defending his Ukraine call

President Donald Trump on Monday continued to defend his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he reportedly pressured the newly elected foreign leader to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic front-runner in the race to challenge Trump’s reelection.

Speaking to reporters at the United Nations in New York City, Trump said he’s “not at all” taking seriously calls for his impeachment from Democrats that followed reports of a whistleblower complaint regarding the call.

“We had a perfect phone call with the president of Ukraine,” the president said Monday. “Everybody knows it. It’s just a Democrat witch hunt.”

The whistleblower complaint, filed on Aug. 12 by a U.S. intelligence official, alleged Trump repeatedly pushed Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, according to reports. Trump’s acting director of national intelligence has refused to show the complaint to Congress, and Trump hasn’t moved to release a transcript of his phone call. 

Trump claimed Biden called for the removal of a notoriously corrupt prosecutor in Ukraine in 2014 to impede an investigation into Ukrainian gas company, where he was a member of its board of directors at the time. But Ukrainian authorities have cleared Biden of any wrongdoing.

There’s no evidence Biden, as vice president, withheld aid to Ukraine to advance his own interest, as Trump has claimed. Several House committees are now investigating whether Trump delayed more than $250 million in aid to Ukraine as he allegedly pressed Zelensky to look into Biden.

“The one who’s got the problem is Biden,” Trump said Monday. “What Biden did is a disgrace. What his son did is a disgrace.”

Asked by a reporter what he said to Zelensky during the call, Trump said, “You’re going to see.”

“Because what we are doing is we want honesty,” he continued. “And if we deal with a country, we want honesty. We’re supporting a country ― we want to make sure that country is honest. It’s very important to talk about corruption.”

Trump, who has faced numerous accusations of corruption by Democrats and government watchdog groups, said on Friday that “it doesn’t matter” what he discussed with Zelensky. 

8 PHOTOS
Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky
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Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky
In this photo dated Feb. 6, 2019, Ukrainian comedian, Volodymyr Zelenskiy seen during the shooting of a popular TV series, where he plays the president during the filming in Kiev, Ukraine. Zelenskiy played the president and now is running for the same office in upcoming presidential elections on March 31.(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukrainian actor and candidate in the upcoming presidential election, hosts a comedy show at a concert hall in Brovary, Ukraine, Friday, March 29, 2019. Zelenskiy now surging ahead of both Tymoshenko and Poroshenko in the presidential context according to polls. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Ukrainian presidential candidate and popular comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy listens to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during their final electoral campaign debate at the Olympic stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, April 19, 2019. Friday is the last official day of election canvassing in Ukraine as all presidential candidates and their campaigns will be barred from campaigning on Saturday, the day before the vote. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy, holds his ballot before voting at a polling station, during the presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, March. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Ukrainian presidential candidate and popular comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy makes the victory sign during the debate with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the Olympic stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, April 19, 2019. Friday is the last official day of election canvassing in Ukraine as all presidential candidates and their campaigns will be barred from campaigning on Saturday, the day before the vote. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and his wife Olena Zelenska smile as they greet supporters at his headquarters after the second round of presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 21, 2019. Ukrainians voted on Sunday in a presidential runoff as the nation's incumbent leader struggles to fend off a strong challenge by a comedian who denounces corruption and plays the role of president in a TV sitcom. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy shows his ballot before casting his ballot at a polling station, during the second round of presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 21, 2019. Top issues in the election have been corruption, the economy and how to end the conflict with Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and his wife Olena Zelenska congratulate each other at his headquarters after the second round of presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 21, 2019. Ukrainians voted on Sunday in a presidential runoff as the nation's incumbent leader struggles to fend off a strong challenge by a comedian who denounces corruption and plays the role of president in a TV sitcom. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
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By Sunday, Trump acknowledged he discussed Biden with Zelensky during the call. He denied saying anything inappropriate and said he was considering releasing a transcript of the conversation. Ukraine’s foreign minister has denied that Trump pressured Zelensky during that call.

Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has stated repeatedly on TV since Friday that he asked Ukraine to investigate Biden. Asked by The Washington Post on Sunday whether Trump had given his blessing to do so, Giuliani responded that he doesn’t “do anything that involves my client without speaking with my client.”

The explosive allegations, which if true could amount to a U.S. president seeking assistance from a foreign government to help his reelection campaign, have reignited calls for impeachment from many Democrats. 

“After the Mueller report, Congress had a duty to begin impeachment,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) tweeted Friday. “By failing to act, Congress is complicit in Trump’s latest attempt to solicit foreign interference to aid him in US elections. Do your constitutional duty and impeach the president.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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