WASHINGTON, Sept 20 — US President Donald Trump again denied today that he did anything wrong during a mysterious phone call with an as-yet unidentified foreign leader after a whistleblower in the intelligence services sounded the alarm.
The Washington Post reported that the call was to Ukraine and that Trump had made a “promise” of some kind.
“There was nothing said wrong, it was pitch perfect!” Trump tweeted, without detailing whom he had spoken to or what was said.
He said his Democratic opponents and the media “think I may have had a ‘dicey’ conversation with a certain foreign leader” but this was only based on what he called “a ‘highly partisan’ whistleblowers statement.”
Trump yesterday had issued a similar denial of wrongdoing.
However, a political storm is rapidly brewing over the refusal by Trump’s Director of National Intelligence to give Congress the whistleblower’s report.
The allegations could refer to a call known to have been made in July between Trump and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, a former professional comedian who was elected in May.
Trump’s Democratic opponents have already been probing that call as part of an investigation into allegations that Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph Giuliani tried to pressure the new Ukrainian administration.
Trump allegedly sought to pressure the Ukrainians to pursue corruption charges against the son of his main Democratic rival in the 2020 presidential election Joe Biden.
Giuliani mostly confirmed that, telling The New York Times: “I’m asking them to do an investigation... because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.”
Adding yet another layer to the controversy, Congressional legislators were reported to be concerned that the Trump administration had been holding back military aid to Ukraine at the time. The aid was finally released last week.
Earlier this month, Democratic leaders of the House intelligence, foreign affairs and oversight committees expressed concern that Trump was trying to “coerce” the Ukrainian leader into “politically-motivated investigations.”
In his latest tweet, Trump said the whistleblower’s claims of improper behaviour could not be true because others had listened in on the call and said nothing.
“Strange that with so many other people hearing or knowing of the perfectly fine and respectful conversation, that they would not have also come forward,” he said. — AFP