Trump Didn’t Mention Foreign Aid ‘Quid Pro Quo’ During Call with Ukrainian President: Report

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, June 24, 2019 (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

President Trump didn’t mention an offer of providing foreign aid to Ukraine during a recent call with president Volodymyr Zelensky, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Trump urged Zelensky to launch an investigation into Vice President Joe Biden’s son on eight separate occasions during the July call but did not make an offer of foreign aid in exchange for the opening of a probe, as has been widely speculated.

The president reportedly urged Zelensky to work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to determine the veracity of allegations that Biden leveraged his position as vice president to quash an investigation into an energy company whose board his son, Hunter, sat on.

The call, which Trump has defended as “totally appropriate,” has been scrutinized in recent days in the wake of reports that the conversation between Trump and Zelensky prompted a whistleblower from within the intelligence agencies to file a complaint with the inspector general.

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have demanded to see the complaint, which reportedly relates to an undisclosed “promise” that Trump made to a foreign leader, but the Trump administration has thus far refused to comply with their subpoena.

Giuliani has for months sought to advance an investigation into the corruption allegations leveled against Biden, meeting with a top Ukrainian official in Paris in July before sitting down with one of Zelensky’s aides in August.

The Trump administration began reviewing a $250 million Ukrainian aid package just weeks after the August meeting and chose to release the aid earlier this month, prompting speculation that Trump offered the aid to incentivize the opening of an investigation into Biden in order to bolster his own electoral prospects.

In 2014, Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company that was then under investigation for state corruption. After Hunter joined the board, his father, who was then serving as vice president, began advocating for the firing of a top Ukrainian prosecutor.

Biden maintains that his conduct was completely unrelated to his son’s board chair, and Ukrainian officials have said they have not surfaced any evidence of corruption.

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