Trump says he may release call with Ukraine’s president
President Trump seems to be of two minds on whether he wants the American press and public to see the transcript of his phone call with Ukraine’s president.
The White House has been considering whether to release the call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Mr. Trump confirmed he discussed former Vice President Joe Biden and aid to Ukraine. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, the president both said he hopes reporters see the transcript of the call, and doesn’t necessarily want to release the transcript. The president has the power to authorize the release of the transcript at any moment.
“I can do it very easily but I would rather not do it from the standpoint of all of the other conversations I had,” Mr. Trump told reporters during a bilateral meeting with Poland’s president. “I may do it because it was a very innocent call on both his part and mine. It was really a congratulatory call because he had just won, it was just confirmed that he was the new president. I think he will do an excellent job.”
Asked whether he pressured Ukraine by threatening to withhold military aid unless they investigated Biden’s son, Hunter, for corruption, Mr. Trump denied doing so. But he added, “Joe Biden is very dishonest, what he did.” The Trump administration recently undertook a review of the Ukraine funding, and some in Congress grew impatient before the funding was finally released earlier this month.
The president added that it might not have been a bad thing if he had pressured Zelensky.
“I could have. I think it would have probably possibly have been OK if I did,” he said.
Biden took to Twitter Monday afternoon, and challenged the president to release the call transcript.
But the president didn’t stop with blasting Biden on Monday. He also lashed out at the American media for its coverage of the matter.
“If a Republican ever said what Joe Biden said, they would be getting the electric chair by right now. Look at the double standards. You people ought to be ashamed of yourself,” Mr. Trump said. “Not all … you have a lot of crooked journalists. You are crooked as hell.”
Mr. Trump’s call with Zelensky has fueled talk of impeachment among Democrats, who argue the president might have used his office to urge a foreign country to investigate a potential political rival.
Mr. Trump is in New York for the U.N. General Assembly for the next couple of days. He stopped by a meeting on climate change for roughly 10 minutes, opting instead to speak at an event on religious freedom and hold bilateral meetings with foreign leaders.
Fin Gomez contributed to this report.
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