Mike Pence blasts media, Biden on Ukraine: Everything Trump getting slammed for former VP 'bragged about'
Vice President Mike Pence lit into the mainstream media over its coverage of the Ukraine controversy in an exclusive interview on "Hannity."
Critics have been relentless in their condemnation of President Trump over a whistleblower's complaint about the context of a phone call between the president and newly elected Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky -- while ignoring allegations of unsubstantiated wrongdoing by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Pence told Sean Hannity.
"The ironic thing is is that everything that our critics in the media are leveling at the president from this phone call, and leveling at our administration, everything that Democrats on Capitol Hill are running off and describing -- Vice President Joe Biden bragged about -- which was a quid-pro-quo -- withholding American aid in exchange for a specific action," he claimed.
Trump's conversation with Zelensky came as the Trump administration was holding up $250 million in military aid for Ukraine, money that the White House later released. The president has said he wanted European countries to pay more for their own defense, and denied delaying any military aid funding.
SOURCE SAYS WHISTLEBLOWER DIDN'T HAVE 'FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE' OF TRUMP CALL WITH UKRAINE PRESIDENT
Last week, a whistleblower complaint surfaced containing allegations Trump made a troubling and unspecified "promise" to a foreign leader later reported to be Zelensky -- touching off a Washington firestorm. On Monday, a person familiar with the situation told Fox News the whistleblower did not have “firsthand knowledge” of the conversation.
The whistleblower's allegation could, however, prompt scrutiny of the Obama administration's Ukraine policy. The former vice president has explained on camera that in March 2016, he privately threatened then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that the U.S. would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees from Ukraine if its top prosecutor wasn't fired.
To that extent, Pence told Hannity all Americans should know the full account of both Bidens' relations with Kiev.
"The American people have a right to know what happened. They have a right to know what happened in 2016 and they have a right to know what the circumstances were around having a sitting vice president threaten to withhold American aid."
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"I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion,'" Biden recounted telling Poroshenko at a Council on Foreign Relations event. "I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.'"
"Well, son of a b---h, he got fired," Biden continued, after assuring Poroshenko that Obama knew about the arrangement. "And, they put in place someone who was solid at the time."
It remained unclear if this was directly tied to the prosecutor's probe into the company linked to Hunter Biden, as other countries reportedly wanted the prosecutor out as well.
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Pence's comments to Hannity echoed remarks made by Trump during United Nations meetings in New York City.
"Joe Biden and his son are corrupt, but the fake news doesn’t want to report because they’re Democrats," Trump said Monday. "If a Republican ever did what Joe Biden did, if a Republican ever said what Joe Biden said, they’d be getting the electric chair."
Trump added: "Look at the double standards, you people ought to be ashamed of yourselves…You got a lot of crooked journalists, you’re crooked as hell."
Fox News' Andrew O'Reilly, Jake Gibson and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.