Trump interrupts Ukraine president when asked about controversial phone call: 'You know there was no pressure'

President denies asking Nancy Pelosi for way out of impeachment saying he no longer considers her speaker of House

Andrew Buncombe
Wednesday 25 September 2019 15:37
Trump interrupts Ukraine president Zelensky in press conference about phone call: 'You know there was no pressure'

Donald Trump spoke over Ukraine’s president at a New York press conference, saying “there was no pressure” after Volodymyr Zelensky was asked about their controversial phone call.

In a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr Zelenskiy insisted there had been nothing inappropriate about his phone conversation with Mr Trump on July 25 – a call that led Democrats to launch formal impeachment proceedings against the US president.

“I don’t want to be involved to democratic open elections of US state,” he said.

“We had I think good phone call, it was normal, we spoke about many things….I think, and you read it, that nobody pushed me.”

At that point, Mr Trump spoke over his counterpart to address the assembled media: “In other words, no pressure. Because, you know what, there was no pressure. And you know there was no pressure – all you have to do is see is what went on on the call. But you can ask the question and I appreciate the answer.”

Their appearance on Wednesday afternoon was sometimes strained, especially when Mr Trump suggested Ukraine look for help from Russia, a nation it has a hostile relationship with. Indeed, photographers caught Mr Zelensky, who was a well known comedian before entering politics, grimacing.

Mr Trump defended his decision to involve his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, to liaise with Mr Zelensky to investigate Mr Biden and his son, along with other cases involving alleged corruption.

“Rudy Giuliani is a great lawyer, he was a great mayor, he’s highly respected. I’ve watched the passion he’d had on television over the last few days,” said Mr Trump, seemingly ignoring the point Mr Giuliani has no formal position within the administration.

“Incredible what he’s done. What he has done, he wants to find out where did this Russian witch-hunt. Where did it start? How come it started?”

Donald Trump: 'Nancy Pelosi is no longer the speaker of the House'

Mr Trump also denied asking House speaker Nancy Pelosi for a way out of possible impeachment proceedings when they spoke on Tuesday morning. He claimed she had “lost her way” and that her party had been taken over by its progressive wing

“No way. She’s lost her way. She’s been taken over by the radical left,” he said. “She may be radical left herself, but she really has lost her way.”

Mr Trump and the Ukraine leader met after the White House released a redacted memo, that showed the US president asking Mr Zelensky to look into Mr Biden’s actions in Ukraine when he was vice president.

Mr Biden has previously been accused by critics, but subsequently cleared, of interfering in Ukraine’s affairs in a way that benefited an energy company that employed his son.

On Tuesday, Mr Pelosi announced Democrats were formally pushing ahead with an impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump.

Members of Congress are waiting to see the details of the whistleblower compliant from a member of the US intelligence community about the Ukraine phone, that triggered the controversy. They have been told the whistleblower may appear in person.

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