In the first criminal charges related to the Ukraine controversy, USA prosecutors have announce a campaign finance case against two businessmen tied to efforts by President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to prod Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
Even before the call, security officials were concerned about the removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in May, and also about efforts by Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to spread conspiracies involving Ukraine and indications that Trump wanted Zelensky to offer up potentially damaging information about Biden, according to the newspaper.
Asked what Ukraine did to persuade the U.S.to release the aid, Zelenskiy said: "We have many diplomatic contacts. When I did find out, I raised it with [U.S. Vice-President Mike] Pence at a meeting in Warsaw", Mr. Zelensky said on Thursday.
Mr Zelensky told reporters that Mr Trump did not seek to blackmail him during a phone call in July or a meeting in September.
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He said he thought the July call would lead to an in-person meeting with Trump, and wanted the American leader to come to Ukraine. "This was not the subject of our conversation", Mr Zelensky said. However, their contemporaneous alarm over Trump's conduct on the call would undermine the relevance of questioning the 18-day gap between the call and the whistleblower complaint by the president's defenders.
At one point, the 41-year-old former comedian appeared to accuse reporters of trying to trick him into an answer that would make headlines in the U.S.
"I told him. please help to resolve it", Zelenskiy recalls.
Ukraine's president just can't stop talking.
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Mr. Zelensky - tieless in a dark grey suit - said he would be willing to open a "joint investigation" into Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that in 2014 hired Hunter Biden onto its board of directors.
The security officials - at least four of them - raised their concerns with National Security Council legal advisor John Eisenberg, the Post said, citing United States officials and other people familiar with the matter.
And Zelenskiy was still talking. "I understand you and what you want - I clearly understand, directly".
Zelensky emphasized that there is no corruption component in his answers to Trump.
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