Donald Trump Defends Call With Volodymyr Zelensky, Says He Asked About ‘Corruption’ Because Of U.S. Aid

The president seemed to admit to asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about Biden in a meeting with reporters on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a rally attended by Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi at NRG Stadium after a rally on September 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
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The president seemed to admit to asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about Biden in a meeting with reporters on Monday.

President Donald Trump on Monday seemed to admit to reporters that he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, amid reports that he pressured the Ukrainian president some eight times to investigate the Democratic Party 2020 front-runner.

“It’s very important to talk about corruption,” the president said to reporters per a tweet from Rebecca Ballhaus, a White House reporter for The Wall Street Journal. “If you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?…It’s very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption.”

According to previous report from The Inquisitr, news surfaced last week that a U.S. official filed an official whistleblower complaint after President Trump allegedly made an inappropriate promise during a phone call with a foreign leader.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, in an interview on This Week on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seemed to suggest that the president wouldn’t release the transcript with his call with Ukraine. Despite calls from Biden to do so, he believed that releasing the transcript would be “inappropriate.”

On Sunday, per The Inquisitr, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, demanded that Joseph Maguire, acting director of national intelligence, release the official whistleblower complaint. He reportedly has been withholding it from Congress despite protocol that requires sharing of the complaint with lawmakers.

She wasn’t the only lawmaker to demand that Maguire release the complaint. Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, issued a subpoena for the whistleblower complaint and charged that withholding it in the interest of protecting the president was illegal.

Maguire reportedly claimed that he is withholding the official complaint because it doesn’t meet the requirements for release since it includes an individual who is not a member of the intelligence community, which reports suggest is the president.

Trump’s seeming admission Monday that he asked about Biden on a call with Zelensky is just the latest statement from the president in a string of claims about the reports. Trump initially sent a series of tweets last Thursday, in which he asked followers if they were “dumb enough” to believe he would have made inappropriate claims on a phone call with a foreign leader. He added that he believes the call was “highly populated” with other U.S. officials.

Trump later said that he didn’t know who the whistleblower was but called him partisan, adding in that meeting with reporters on Friday that he believed it did not matter what the two presidents discussed on the phone.

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Trump allegedly asked the Ukrainian president eight times to look into reports that the former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful used his influence to get a prosecutor removed from a case investigating his son, Hunter Biden. The younger Biden worked in the oil industry in the Eastern European country.

Condemnation of the president’s reported action has been swift, though Pelosi has notably not called for Trump’s impeachment. In a statement released by Biden following reports of the whistleblower, he blasted the president for an alleged act that demeaned the office of the president but also stopped short at calling for the impeachment of the 45th president.

According to a previous report from The Inquisitr, however, some have said that if allegations are true, impeachment is necessary. Schiff said on CNN over the weekend that Congress would have no choice but to impeach the president if the allegations leveraged against Trump prove true.

The call with the Ukrainian president reportedly occurred on July 25, just one day after former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress about his findings into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Per The Inquisitr, the call also came around the time the president was purportedly withholding $250 million in funding to the Ukraine, which the president eventually released following bipartisan criticism.