WSJ: Trump Pressured Ukraine President ‘About Eight Times’ In July Call To Probe Biden

President Donald Trump (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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September 20, 2019 4:35 pm
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President Donald Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani to investigate Joe Biden, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

It’s the latest revelation about the July call between the two leaders that is reportedly the subject of an alarming, yet so far veiled, whistleblower’s complaint from within the intelligence community.

The Journal cited unnamed people familiar with the matter in its reporting on the call between Trump and Zelensky.

One of the unnamed sources told the paper that Trump told Zelensky “that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know.”

The Washington Post subsequently mirrored the Journal’s reporting about the July call. The paper said the call is “at the center” of the whistleblower complaint, citing two unnamed people familiar with the matter, but that it was part of “a broader set of facts” included in the complaint, in the paper’s words.

The Ukrainian government acknowledged that call in an official read-out at the time, though the United States government did not. The Washington Post and New York Times reported Thursday evening that the whistleblower’s complaint reportedly involved Ukraine. (TPM’s Josh Kovensky reported on the suggestive timing of the call a few hours earlier.)

Giuliani has for months pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden and other threads that may help Trump in 2020. On Thursday night, Giuliani initially denied, then confirmed in a CNN interview, that he’s asked Ukraine to look into Biden.

In August, the State Department admitted that the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine, Kurt Kolker, had helped set up a meeting between Giuliani and a top adviser to Zelensky.

Earlier this month, three House committees announced a probe into Giuliani’s activities. The same day, the Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson told the House Intelligence committee about the whistleblower — the one who reportedly raised a red flag about Trump and Ukraine.

The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, has refused to share the complaint with Congress. White House counsel Pat Cipollone, the Post reported, has helped “identify legal obstacles to the sharing of information that could be politically damaging to Trump.”
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