Trump encourages questions to Pence about his own Ukraine calls – POLITICO

Mike Pence

President Donald Trump. | Win McNamee/Getty Images


White House

09/25/2019 05:33 PM EDT

Updated 09/25/2019 05:48 PM EDT


President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that reporters should ask Mike Pence to release details of his conversations with Ukraine, seemingly drawing his vice president into the scandal that has engulfed the administration.

“I think you should ask for Vice President Pence’s conversation, because he had a couple of conversations also,” Trump said at a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “I could save you a lot of time. They were all perfect. Nothing was mentioned of any import other than congratulations.”

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Trump also said he could be persuaded to release more information about an earlier conversation he had with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, while repeating that he did nothing inappropriate in his contacts with the foreign leader.

“The word is they’re going to ask for the first phone conversation,” Trump said at the news conference. “You can have it anytime you need it. And also Mike Pence’s conversations, which were, I think, one or two of them. They were perfect. They were all perfect.”

The comments came hours after the White House released a memo detailing Trump’s July 25 conversation with Zelensky in which Trump pressured him to open an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son. The document confirmed allegations that the president sought help from a foreign leader to investigate a political rival — allegations that convinced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to formally launch an impeachment inquiry into Trump.

During the news conference, Trump revealed that the July 25 conversation was the second phone call between the two leaders and said he would release the first if prompted.

Some of Trump’s top aides have also been drawn into the scandal. The Washington Post reported that Trump asked his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold back millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine just days before the July 25 call with Zelensky, and the memo of Trump’s call showed the president urging Zelensky to work with Attorney General William Barr to investigate the Bidens.

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