White House Officials 'Alarmed' By Trump Contacts With Ukraine

Cheryl Sanders
October 12, 2019

Trump tweeted Thursday that Zelenskiy's comment that there was no blackmail during the July call "should immediately end the talk of impeachment!"

The former comedian who won a massive victory in the Ukrainian elections in April despite having no political experience has tried to distance himself from the political battle brewing in Washington where the US House of Representatives has launched an impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Trump has alleged, without any evidence, that Biden had improper dealings in Ukraine through his son Hunter who was on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma. However, contrary to the accusations, a newly uncovered memo suggests no military aid was mentioned, ruling out quid pro quo allegations.

Even before the call, security officials were concerned about the removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in May, and also about efforts by Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to spread conspiracies involving Ukraine and indications that Trump wanted Zelensky to offer up potentially damaging information about Biden, according to the newspaper.

Russian Federation has said the pullback needs to take place before a summit scheduled for this month between Putin, Zelenskiy, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He and Trump later spoke to the press before a meeting and Zelensky said that the call "was normal" and that "nobody pushed me". "After the meeting, America unblocked it".

Officials said that within hours of the 9 a.m. conversation, a rough transcript compiled by aides had been moved from a widely shared White House computer network to one normally reserved for highly classified intelligence operations.

Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Pence met in the Polish capital on September 1. But the impeachment hearings mean that Ukraine will remain a central player in the US drama through the 2020 presidential election and beyond. He's treading carefully to ensure continued support from the US while trying to make peace with powerful neighbor Russian Federation.

"I told him. please help to resolve it", Zelenskiy recalls.

Another recurring topic was Mr. Zelensky's effort to pursue a peace deal with the Russian-backed separatists who control the Donbas region of southeastern Ukraine.

"We have many criminal cases to look at".

Mr. Zelensky has been accused by Ukrainian analysts of letting Mr. Trump push him around on the call.

In the days before the call, Trump ordered advisers to freeze $400 million in military aid for Ukraine - prompting speculation that he was holding out the money as leverage for information on the Bidens. He said that the two leaders didn't speak about military aid and that it wasn't a "theme" of their conversation.

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