• President Trump defiantly pushed back against an impeachment inquiry during a press conference on Wednesday after he released the transcript of his conversation with the Ukrainian president that’s at the center of a whistleblower complaint.
  • Trump insisted “that he wants full transparency not only over the so-called whistleblower allegations leveled against him, but also from Joe Biden and his son Hunter on the millions of dollars that have been quickly and easily taken out of Ukraine and China.”
  • Trump also said that he wanted “transparency from Democrats who went to Ukraine and attempted to force the new president … to do things that they wanted under the form of political threat.”
  • Trump said: “They threatened him if he didn’t do things — now that’s what they’re accusing me of, but I didn’t do it.”
  • The press conference signaled that Trump is willing to fight back and even “turn the tables against Democrats who have initiated an impeachment inquiry, following the whistleblower’s complaint that Trump had improperly pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden.”
  • An hour before Trump’s comments, “Zelensky told reporters he did not feel pushed at all in his conversations with the president.”
  • Earlier on Wednesday, “the White House released a transcript of Trump’s July call with Zelensky, showing Trump sought a review of Biden family dealings in the country.”
  • However, “the transcript also did not demonstrate that Trump leveraged military aid to Ukraine to obtain a promise on a Biden investigation, as a widely cited report in The Washington Post had claimed.”
  • During the press conference, Trump referenced “a little-discussed CNN report from May, which described how Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez, Dick Durbin, and Patrick Leahy pushed Ukraine’s top prosecutor not to close four investigations perceived as critical to then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.”
  • Trump said: “The Democrats have done what they’re accusing me of doing.”
  • At the time, the Democratic senators wrote a letter to Ukraine’s then-leader: “In four short years, Ukraine has made significant progress in building [democratic] institutions despite ongoing military, economic, and political pressure from Moscow.”
  • The letter also read: “We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump.”

Reference Links

  • Fox: Trump turns tables on Biden amid impeachment push, claims Dems threatened Ukraine READ
  • The Hill: Watch live: Trump holds press conference READ
  • WXYZ: President Donald Trump repeatedly refers to impeachment inquiry as ‘witch hunt’ during presser READ
  • Washington Examiner: WATCH: Trump holds press conference following release of Ukraine call transcript READ

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