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Trump offers to release transcript of ‘second call’ with Ukrainian president

President Donald Trump on Friday said he would be willing to turn over the transcript of a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that preceded the July conversation between the two leaders that ignited House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

“I had a second call with the president which actually, I believe, came before this one, and now they all want that one. And if they want it, I’ll give it to them,” Trump told reporters outside the White House, presumably referring to congressional impeachment investigators. “I haven’t seen it recently, but I’ll give it to them.”

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The president’s call over the summer with Zelensky — during which Trump urged his foreign counterpart to investigate unfounded charges of corruption related to former Vice President Joe Biden — was detailed in an explosive whistleblower complaint that provoked Democratic lawmakers to launch their impeachment probe.

But the president also placed an earlier congratulatory call to Zelensky in the hours after his election on April 21, and although various reporting has stated that Trump raised the issue of Ukrainian corruption, little is publicly known about the details of the discussion.

“What they want is they want my first phone call. I had another phone call, and it’s a very important phone call, and it came to my attention last night that they want the first phone call,” Trump said.

“They found out there’s another phone call, and that’s the first phone call. And they want it released, and we’re considering that,” he added.

Trump and his Republican allies have repeatedly defended his July call with Zelensky, citing a White House readout of the conversation released amid political pressure in September that largely corroborated the whistleblower’s account.

The president also weighed in Friday on the latest development in the escalating impeachment proceedings: a subpoena for acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to testify on Trump’s decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine.

“I’d love to have Mick go up, frankly. I think he’d do great,” Trump said. “I’d love to have almost every person go up when they know me. What I don’t like is when they put all these people that I never met before.”

But Mulvaney has signaled that he is unlikely to comply with lawmakers’ demands, and Trump asserted that allowing administration officials to sit for depositions as part of the inquiry would “give credibility to a corrupt witch hunt.”

Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

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