President Donald Trump, speaking at his first news conference since the impeachment inquiry, says he placed “no pressure” on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden.
Trump denied that he tried to pressure Ukraine’s president “under the form of political threat.”
“I didn’t threaten anybody,” Trump said. It’s all a big hoax.”
Trump commented Wednesday during a meeting in New York with Zelenskiy on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting of world leaders. (You can watch the entire news conference in the video player below.)
Asked about their July telephone call, Zelenskiy said it was a “good phone call” and “normal” and that he and Trump discussed “many things.” Zelenskiy adds: “Nobody pushed me.”
A rough transcript summarizing the call that the White House released Wednesday shows Trump repeatedly prodded Zelenskiy to work with the U.S. attorney general and Trump’s personal attorney to investigate Biden, a former U.S. vice president.
Trump said he’s told House Republicans that he fully supports transparency when it comes to the whistleblower complaint against him.
“I’ve informed them, all the House members, that I fully support transparency on the whistleblower information,” he said
Trump added that the whistleblower didn’t have any “first-rate or second-tier information from what I understand. You’ll have to figure that out for yourself.”
But Trump slammed Democrats for announcing the impeachment inquiry during the United Nations General Assembly as he was meeting with foreign leaders.
“The Democrats did this hoax during the United Nations week. It was perfect,” Trump said. “Because this way it takes away from the tremendous achievements that we’re taking care of doing that we’re involved in.”
“The witch hunt continues, but they’re getting hit hard on this witch hunt, because when they look at the information, it’s a joke,” Trump added. “Impeachment for that, when you have a wonderful meeting or you have a wonderful phone conversation.”