Republican lawmakers are coming to President Donald Trump’s defense after new details reported claim that the president had pressured the Ukranian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden (D).
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal and other U.S. media outlets, the conversation occurred during a July phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, where the president roughly eight times pressured Ukraine’s president to look into Biden and Biden’s son, Hunter, as IJR reported.
A classified whistleblower filed a complaint on September 12. This has sparked outrage from Democrats.
Trump, however, pushed back against the complaint saying on Friday, “It’s a partisan whistleblower. They shouldn’t even have information. I’ve had conversations with many leaders. They’re always appropriate.”
“This behavior is particularly abhorrent because it exploits the foreign policy of our country and undermines our national security for political purposes,” Biden said in response to the report. He continued:
“It means that he used the power and resources of the United States to pressure a sovereign nation—a partner that is still under direct assault from Russia—pushing Ukraine to subvert the rule of law in the express hope of extracting a political favor.
[…] At minimum, Donald Trump should immediately release the transcript of the call in question, so that the American people can judge for themselves, and direct the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to stop stonewalling and release the whistleblower notification to the Congress.”
However, some Republicans are coming to the president’s defense.
“It’s not like we haven’t seen this movie before: Democrats come out, they’re all spun up, Adam Schiff makes all kinds of statements, and then when the facts come out, whoa, different story!” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said, according to The Washington Post.
Additionally, Jordan said the allegations “[seem] to be the same kind of deal” as the allegations that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said, “It would have a real chilling effect on dialogue between important leaders if they think that every time someone who overhears a conversation that wasn’t even party to the conversation is going to file a whistleblower complaint and it’ll end up on the front page of periodicals across the country.”
Republican lawmakers were slow to criticize the president over the complaint, but a few shared some concerns over it.
“I think it would be wildly inappropriate for an American president to invite a foreign country’s leader to get engaged in an American presidential election,” Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-Penn.) told the Post, adding, “That strikes me as entirely inappropriate.”
Toomey later added that he’s “not acknowledging or alleging the president did that.”
The whistleblower complaint has resulted in three House committees, who will look into whether the president tried to have Ukraine aid in his reelection campaign and attack Biden — a frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary race — as well as it being a national security threat.