President Donald Trump called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 21, just after he’d won his election, to push him to work with lawyer Rudy Giuliani to root out “corruption,” according to a new report.
The New York Times reported that part of Trump’s obsession with the country stems from his belief that Ukraine was involved in the start of the investigations into Russian election interference in 2016 and the Trump campaign’s potential involvement. His ire was first stoked by the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine releasing damaging documents on money earmarked for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort by a Russia-aligned party in Ukraine.
Trump held that distrust close after a delegation of Americans went to visit Zelensky at his inauguration, dismissing their positive reports.
“They’re terrible people,” Trump said of Ukrainian politicians. “They’re all corrupt and they tried to take me down.”
He clung closer to his belief that Ukraine was out to get him as investigations into his interactions with Russia ramped up.
Now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has launched an impeachment inquiry, based on Trump’s interactions with Zelensky and his attempts to strong-arm him into manufacturing dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, to aid his 2020 campaign. During his July 25 call with Zelensky — based on a White House memo of the call — he reminded the Ukrainian leader of all the help the United States had given his country, before segueing into pressuring him to investigate the Bidens.