White House

Pompeo: Trump–Zelensky Phone Conversation ‘Consistent’ With Administration’s Anti-Corruption Policy Goals

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends a news conference during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, August 1, 2019. (Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday evening defended President Trump from accusations of corruption based on the contents of a phone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“The call was consistent with what I had a long set of conversations with President Trump on our policy for an awfully long time,” Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News. “Our policy has been very clear all along with respect to Ukraine.”

House Democrats are conducting an impeachment inquiry into whether Trump withheld military aid marked for Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate corruption allegations against political rival Joe Biden and his son. The inquiry is based in part on a July 25 conversation between Trump and Zelensky in which Trump repeatedly urges his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate the Bidens.

“I heard the President very clearly on that call talking about making sure that corruption – whether that corruption took place in the 2016 election, whether that corruption was continuing to take place, that the monies that were being provided would be used appropriately,” he continued. “It was very consistent with what I’d understood President Trump and our administration to be doing all along.”

Pompeo asserted that State Department officials who have given testimony detrimental to Trump during House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry were in fact on the same page as the President in regards to policy on Ukraine.

“My understanding is that every one of these individuals had the same Ukrainian policy that President Trump had,” Pompeo said.

The House is due to vote on formalizing the inquiry on Thursday.

On Wednesday, National Security Council Ukraine expert Alexander Vindman, who listened to the call between Trump and Zelensky, testified to Congress that the transcript of the conversation released by the White House had been altered.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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