Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko refuted reports that President Donald Trump pressured his Ukrainian counterpart in a July phone call to investigate Joe Biden and his son in an effort to help Trump re-election bid in 2020.
“I know what the conversation was about and I think there was no pressure,” Prystaiko said. “There was talk, conversations are different, leaders have the right to discuss any problems that exist. This conversation was long, friendly, and it touched on a lot of questions, including those requiring serious answers.”
It was reported earlier this week that Trump had pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into the former U.S. vice president and work together with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
The contested July 25 phone call between the two leaders came under scrutiny after an intelligence whistleblower filed a complaint concerning the situation, The Hill writes.
Trump defended his conversation with Zelensky on Friday, telling reporters that all his communications with foreign leaders are “appropriate.”
“I have conversations with many leaders. It’s always appropriate. Always appropriate. At the highest level always appropriate. And anything I do, I fight for this country,” Trump said.
On Saturday, he accused Democrats of launching what he called “the Ukraine Witch Hunt” in order to protect Biden from an investigation.
“Now that the Democrats and the Fake News Media have gone ‘bust’ on every other of their Witch Hunt schemes, they are trying to start one just as ridiculous as the others, call it the Ukraine Witch Hunt, while at the same time trying to protect Sleepy Joe Biden,” he tweeted, adding, “Will fail again!”
The tweet comes after reports said that the complaint allegedly detailed a troubling promise Trump made to Zelensky. Trump claimed Friday that the matter they discussed during the phone call was unimportant, noting, however, that “somebody ought to look into Joe Biden’s statement.”
He further sought to assert reporters that the complaint was purely “partisan” although he admitted that he was unaware of the whistleblower’s identity.