Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky again denied a primary allegation foisted by House Democrats amid their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, saying there was no quid pro quo.
Zelensky is one of the central figures in the Democrat-led inquiry, having spoken to Trump in a July 25 phone call about investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company that hired the younger Biden as a board member while the former vice president was in office.
“Look, I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo. Thats not my thing,” Zelensky told several news outlets over the weekend, including Time magazine. He said he doesnt “understand at all” the allegations made against Trump during the House Intelligence Committees hearings.
Its the second time Zelensky has directly denied the quid pro quo allegations.
Breaking News: The President of Ukraine has just again announced that President Trump has done nothing wrong with respect to Ukraine and our interactions or calls. If the Radical Left Democrats were sane, which they are not, it would be case over!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2019
Trump on Twitter wrote that his Ukrainian counterpart said he “has done nothing wrong with respect to Ukraine and our interactions or calls,” adding, “If the Radical Left Democrats were sane, which they are not, it would be case over!”
Zelensky was slightly critical of the United States move to hold for review hundreds of millions of dollars to Kyiv earlier this year before it was released.
“I dont want us to look like beggars. But you have to understand. Were at war,” he said. “If youre our strategic partner, then you cant go blocking anything for us. I think thats just about fairness. Its not about a quid pro quo. It just goes without saying.”
Democrats case against Trump—that he withheld military aid to pressure Ukraine for investigations into the Bidens before the 2020 election—have been shot down by other Ukrainian officials, including Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko. Trump and other White House officials have also dismissed the allegations, saying theyre tantamount to a Democrat-led witch hunt.
In the interview, Zelensky also attempted to push back against allegations that Ukraine is a corrupt country.
“It might seem like an easy thing to say, that combination of words: Ukraine is a corrupt country. Just to say it and thats it. But it doesnt end there. Everyone hears that signal. Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have international capital in Ukraine, its a signal to them that says, Be careful, dont invest. Or, Get out of there,” he said.