Ukraine’s Zelenskiy Says He Never Spoke With or Met Giuliani

(Bloomberg) -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he never met or talked by phone with Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, whose contacts in Ukraine are part of an impeachment inquiry in Washington.

“I have never met Rudy Giuliani,” Zelenskiy said Tuesday at a news conference in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy Says He Never Spoke With or Met Giuliani

Trump asked Zelenskiy in a July phone call to work with Giuliani on an investigation into largely discredited allegations against Joe Biden, a frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and his son, according to a rough transcript of the call released last week.

Trump alleges that as vice president, Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its prosecutor general in 2016 to stop an investigation of a company connected to Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

The U.S. House, controlled by Democrats, is pursuing an impeachment inquiry into Trump, who had cut off military aid to Ukraine days before the phone call. Some Democrats have said Trump’s comments to Zelenskiy show an impeachable abuse of power and grounds for an impeachment query, even if Trump didn’t explicitly link the Biden investigation to military aid.

Zelenskiy, speaking to reporters, reiterated earlier statements he wasn’t under pressure from Trump to investigate Biden.

“I want to tell you that I never feel any pressure and there are very many people in the west and in Ukraine who would like to influence me,” Zelenskiy said. “But I am a president of independent Ukraine and I think that, and I hope my steps demonstrate this, that it is impossible to influence me.”

Zelenskiy also said that the transcript of the conversation, released by the White House, is similar to Ukrainian version.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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