Trump: White House will release transcript of another call with Ukraine
President Donald Trump said he will release the transcript of another phone call with the President of Ukraine “probably” on Tuesday — this communication having taken place in April before the July conversation at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.
“They want to have a transcript of the other call, the second call, and I’m willing to provide that,” the President told reporters Saturday on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews, before boarding Air Force One.
Trump said he first spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in April, but his communication with Zelensky in July has so far been the focus of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. In September, the White House released a rough transcript of that July call following a whistleblower complaint that alleged Trump solicited “interference” from a foreign country to help his 2020 presidential campaign.
Trump has denied doing anything improper.
On Saturday, the President called the April call transcript “very important.”
“You’ll read the second call, and you’ll tell me if there’s anything wrong with it,” he said. The call took place months before the July conversation at the center of the impeachment inquiry.
Trump also claimed that he doesn’t care if congressional impeachment proceedings are behind closed doors or in public because, he said, they shouldn’t be happening at all.
“There shouldn’t be anything. There shouldn’t be impeachment hearings,” he said, also calling the testimony so far “all third-hand knowledge.”
While Trump dismissed some of the importance of the witnesses who have been deposed in private so far, the witnesses have provided key information to congressional investigators. Some have stated their belief there was a quid pro quo, with the Trump administration requiring the Ukrainian government to open investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in exchange for US military assistance.
There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden in Ukraine.