President Trump answered questions Sunday morning regarding reports that a whistleblower complaint may have accused him of wrongdoing related to a July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and insisted that there was “absolutely nothing wrong” with the substance of the discussion.
Trump reportedly has been accused of asking Ukraine’s leader multiple times to work with Rudy Giuliani in investigating former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, and using military aid as leverage. Trump denied making any improper requests.
“I said absolutely nothing wrong; it was perfect,” Trump said outside the White House before departing for Houston. “There was no quid pro quo, there was nothing,” he later added.
Trump did point fingers at Biden, however. The Democratic presidential hopeful’s son Hunter Biden had been investigated related to business interests. Biden has said in the past that the U.S. would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees from Ukraine if the prosecutor was not fired, but it remains unclear if this was directly tied to Hunter Biden’s case, as other countries reportedly wanted the prosecutor out as well.
Trump accused Biden of being dishonest in claiming that he never spoke to his son about his business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company, despite Hunter Biden telling the New Yorker that they spoke “just once” about it.
“And now he made a lie when he said he never spoke to his son,” Trump said Sunday. “Of course you spoke to your son!”
When asked about why he delayed military aid to Ukraine, Trump said it had nothing to do with the Biden family.
"Because I want Germany, and I want France, and I want the European Union to put up money," Trump said. "And I didn't delay anything. We paid the military aid to the best of my knowledge."
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., doubted that Trump's conversation with Zelenskiy was innocent.
"Well if that’s the case, then why doesn’t the president simply release the transcript of that call?” Schiff said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." Schiff also challenged Trump to allow the release of the whistleblower complaint, accusing Trump of not wanting to see either one.
The Democratic congressman has long been a vocal critic of the president but has not been among those calling for his impeachment. Schiff said that may change in light of the reports of Trump's conversation with Ukraine.
"If the president is essentially withholding military aid at the same time that he is trying to browbeat a foreign leader into doing something illicit … then that may be the only remedy that is coequal to the evil that that conduct represents.”
Giuliani has acknowledged that he was involved in investigating Hunter Biden, but claimed that his original goal was to investigate ties between Ukraine and Democrats related to the 2016 election. He denied that he was specifically out to get Biden.
“What they’re trying to say is I went there on a political mission to get Joe Biden in trouble,” Giuliani told “Fox News Sunday,” calling such a claim “ridiculous.”
Giuliani said that the suspicion of Biden’s wrongdoing related to his son’s case was “inextricably linked” to what he had already been investigating related to the Democratic Party.
“This is going to get bigger and bigger, and everything I say I can prove,” Giuliani said.
Trump said he would be amenable to Giuliani discussing the matter before Congress.
“I would have no problem,” the president said. “Rudy’s a straight shooter, and Rudy wants to see the same thing as a lot of other people when it comes to Ukraine.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also fielded questions about Ukraine on “Fox News Sunday,” but declined to get into specifics, only stating that Trump’s discussions with world leaders “have always been 100 percent appropriate, 100 percent lawful.”