Trump Says He Discussed Biden in Call With Ukrainian President

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he discussed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son in a call with Ukraine’s president.

Trump’s statement to reporters about his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came as the Democratic leader of a key congressional panel said the pursuit of Trump’s impeachment may be the “only remedy” to the situation.

Trump’s call with Zelensky has been at the center of an escalating battle in Washington since Friday, when news outlets reported that Trump repeatedly asked the Ukrainian leader to investigate whether Biden, the Democratic front-runner to take on Trump in next year’s election, misused his position when he was vice president.

Trump told reporters at the White House that their phone conversation was mostly congratulatory but also touched on corruption and the Bidens.

“The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, with largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place and largely the fact that we don’t want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine,” Trump said.

Democrats have said that if Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Biden, it is tantamount to promoting foreign interference in the 2020 election.

Trump has denied doing anything improper. His allies, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, have defended the president’s phone call, which, according to news reports, was the subject of a complaint made by an as-yet-unnamed whistleblower.

If an investigation shows that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden, the U.S. Congress may have no choice but to pursue impeachment, Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on Sunday.

Schiff had previously shied away from calling for impeachment, but his comments on CNN’s “State of the Union” showed his stance had shifted.

“If the president is essentially withholding military aid at the same time that he is trying to browbeat a foreign leader to do something illicit, to provide dirt on his opponent during a presidential campaign, then that may be the only remedy that is co-equal to the evil that conduct represents,” Schiff said.

Other legislators have called for the Democratic leadership to pursue impeachment immediately, but Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has so far resisted calls to formally begin the process.

In a letter to colleagues later on Sunday, Pelosi warned the administration against keeping the details of the whistleblower complaint secret. The administration has so far resisted sharing the details of the complaint with lawmakers.

“If the administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the president, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation,” Pelosi wrote.

ROMNEY VOICES CONCERN

Senator Mitt Romney, who has clashed with Trump in the past, sounded a rare note of concern among Trump’s fellow Republicans, many of whom have remained silent, defended Trump or escalated their attacks on Biden in the days after the reports about the Trump-Zelensky call.

“If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme,” Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, said in a Twitter post.

Impeachment proceedings in Congress, which begin in the House, can lead to a president being removed from office, but Democrats would need the support of Republicans, who control the Senate.

Multiple news organizations reported on Friday that Trump repeatedly asked Zelensky to investigate whether Biden misused his position as vice president under Democratic President Barack Obama to threaten to withhold U.S. aid unless a prosecutor who was looking into a gas company in which Biden’s son was involved was fired.

Biden has confirmed he wanted the prosecutor fired but denies it was to help his son. Biden said the wider U.S. government, the European Union and other international institutions also wanted the prosecutor fired for his alleged failure to pursue major corruption cases.

Biden said on Saturday there should be an investigation into Trump’s call, saying it “appears to be an overwhelming abuse of power.” He said he never spoke to his son about Ukraine.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose, Sarah N. Lynch and Lawrence Hurley; Writing by Amanda Becker; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Peter Cooney)

Responses

  1. >Phyllis Softs<

    What "lawless behavior"?

    And that's 42 UP votes indicating a lot of the IJR family agrees Trump was within his legal right to speak with someone who has the authority to investigate Biden's crooked, arm twisting behavior. Investigating Biden's scheme in China should be next. I suggest Biden be impeached BEFORE he's nominated and loses to Trump.

    1. LOL…42 UP votes on IJR is indicative of the problem that exist. I recognize that the Trump Cult requires you to place Trump ABOVE the law. I did not take that oath. The law has been in effect since the inception of America—but the latest Amendments to the law “52 USC 30121 were made in 2002. Please google it. I never want you to take my word for what I provide you. 42 Votes is indicative that we desperately need to Make America Sane Again. Just curious….how do you suggest Congress impeach Biden BEFORE he’s nominated? If Biden committed a crime, he would be subject to indictment via the legal system—not Congress. Since Biden was CLEARED in Ukraine in May, what is the basis for your fantasy impeachment/indictment??

  2. “Democrats have said that if Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Biden, it is tantamount to promoting foreign interference in the 2020 election.”

    This of course is lunacy. Other governments can and should investigate crimes committed in their countries, and indict and prosecute when appropriate. The inappropriate and illegal act was Biden committing extortion to get the prosecutor fired, which he has admitted to doing.

    1. What country are you wanting to ask the U.S. to investigate their citizens for crimes committed under our laws? Does MBS have any other Saudi citizens they want the U.S. to investigate? They appear to have their own method of dealing with those who do not share political positions. It is lunacy that no one mentions the fact that Biden was investigated and CLEARED in May, 2019. Trump does not like the results, just as Trump and Trumpsters did not like the results of the Clinton email investigation, the 3 investigations of Uranium One, the 5 investigations of Vince Foster’s suicide, and the 8 investigations of Benghazi. The legal system, here and abroad, is not set up to prove every unfounded conspiracy you want to believe.

  3. The left keep taking the bait, over and over and over. Now everyone is talking about Biden threatening/bribing Ukraine to fire the pros cuter going after the corrupt company his son made bank off of. Watch for China next. Oh, and let’s not forget that Biden claimed he never discussed anything with his son, yet his son is quoted months ago in an article where they did speak. Tsk, tsk, tsk. As an aside, people that research knew about Ukraine, Biden, his son, Hillary & DNC 3 years ago. Thanks for nothing Reuter’s.

  4. *Tammy*. It’s a Reuters slam piece. Nothing Conservative about them.

  5. This article reads with a biased slant. I thought you were better than that, ijr?

  6. Which he has a right to do; just another ‘rabbit hole’ for the left.

  7. Adam Schiff decided he needed to impeach after information comes out from a whistleblower who reportedly didn’t hear the information directly but got it from someone else. The people who heard it were not concerned. Adam started yelling impeach and hasn’t stopped. As for Romney, he is a democrat in a republican suit, I don’t expect anything different from him. How could he pull the wool over the eyes of the voters in Utah?

    1. WHAT Democrat believes tax cuts for the top 1% is a good idea? Romney will accept that he has not sworn allegiance to Trump—his allegiance is to the Constitution. But there is nothing in his voting record or statements that would indicate that he is a Democrat. Utah has never been okay with a corrupt businessman that brags of grabbing women by the pussy or bragging of knowingly walking in on undressing teenage contestants.Mormons’ morals are apparently different than evangelicals. Utah is a Red state—but not into the Trump cult idea. Trump’s strongly disapprove and disapprove percentage is currently at 58%. Not every R took the vow to continue to support him even if he shot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue.

  8. Trump is entirely with the authority given him to discuss matters of like concerns with the leaders in other Nations. He should not and does not need the approval of the minority Party witch hunters to use his phone, pen or bathroom..

    1. Trump should not have the approval of the R party in his lawless behavior. But, as your 25 up votes indicate, he apparently has it.

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