Ukraine leader voiced concerns about Trump political pressure prior to phone call: report

Source: The Hill | October 23, 2019 | Marty Johnson

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in May discussed with advisers at length his concerns about the pressure that President Trump was applying on him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, two months before the leaders’ July 25 phone call, The Associated Press reports.

People familiar with the events of the meeting told the AP that Zelensky spent several hours trying to figure out how to deal with Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani while not getting involved in U.S. elections.

The meeting took place after Trump had called Zelensky on Easter Sunday to congratulate him on his election win, but two weeks before Zelensky was inaugurated.

Trump’s phone call with Zelensky in which he congratulates the Ukrainian leader has not been made public, despite claims by the president that it would be released.

It’s unclear what was said during the call.

A public readout released by the White House regarding the April 21 phone call didn’t reveal much, except that Trump implored Zelensky to “root out corruption,” the AP reported. 

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While in New York City for the U.N. General Assembly in September, Zelensky, in a joint press conference with Trump, said “I don’t want to be involved, to democratic, open elections of U.S.A.” 

“We had, I think, good phone call. It was normal,” he added.

However, Ukraine Ambassador William Taylor’s testimony on Tuesday severely contradicts Trump’s version of events.

Trump, Taylor told House committees, made aid that had already been promised to Ukraine conditional on whether or not Zelensky would publicly vow to open an investigation into former Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

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