Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Thursday there was "no blackmail" in his July phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump that is now at the center of an impeachment inquiry by the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives.
In a news conference lasting several hours Thursday, Zelenskiy was repeatedly questioned about the now infamous July phone call and whether the U.S. president had implied he would block military aid unless Kyiv investigated the business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of Trump's political rival Joe Biden. Hunter Biden was a board member of the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma.
“They blocked it (the military aid) even before we had the conversation. But we did not touch on it in our conversation. At that moment I did not know about it. I talked to the minister of defense afterwards and he said: ‘We have a problem, they've blocked that money.’ But when we were talking with Trump, this issue was not there at all. So there was no blackmail because it was not the subject of our conversation, at all,” Zelenskiy told reporters.
In a tweet Thursday, Trump said the Ukrainian leader's latest comments to reporters "should immediately end the talk of impeachment."
According to a whistleblower complaint, and a rough transcript of the call released by the White House, Trump urged Zelenskiy to open an investigation into Biden.
Trump has described his conversation with Zelenskiy as a "perfect call" and the White House has said it is refusing to participate in the Democratic-led inquiry into whether the American president should be impeached.
Source : VOA