Ukraine to investigate potential 2016 USA election interference


I would like that what Mr. Trump said will be judged by the laws of the United States of America, and not by me, as the president of Ukraine. In the days before the call, Trump ordered advisers to freeze $400 million in military aid for Ukraine - prompting speculation that he was holding out the money as leverage for information on the Bidens.

A former comedian who won a landslide election victory in April despite having no political experience, the 41-year-old Zelenskiy has been unwillingly drawn into a political battle in Washington between Trump and his Democratic opponents. There was no blackmail'. He said he did not violate Ukrainian law, adding that his comments of Trump's words could be construed as interference in US domestic politics.

At least four national security officials were so alarmed by the Trump administration's attempts to pressure Ukraine for political purposes that they raised concerns with a White House lawyer both before and immediately after President Trump's July 25 call with that country's president, according to US officials and other people familiar with the matter.

Ukraine, France and Germany had planned to hold the meeting of the group known as the Normandy Four, aimed at resolving the five-year-long conflict, as early as last month, Zelenskiy told reporters, but Russian Federation turned down the proposal.

And the officials became even more unnerved after the call, in which Trump asked Zelensky to "look into" Biden with Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr. "When I did find out, I raised it with [U.S. Vice-President Mike] Pence at a meeting in Warsaw", Mr. Zelensky said on Thursday. "And in case we need to find a solution to questions of this level, questions about our country's security, we use all our powerful possibilities".

"I don't want to interfere in USA elections", Zelensky said.

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Zelenskiy is notably trying to end a five-year conflict with Russia-backed separatist in eastern Ukraine, and is treading carefully to ensure continued support from the US while trying to make peace with powerful neighbor Russian Federation.

Zelensky told the AP he was simply hoping that the call with Trump would lead to a visit by Trump to Ukraine, and that he was hoping to persuade Trump to change the White House's rhetoric regarding Ukraine.

"But if it happens, we will learn about that from Twitter", Zelenskiy added, jokingly.

The sole aim of the phone call, he said, was to plan a meeting with Trump.

"We just wanted to establish relations", he said. He's treading carefully to ensure continued support from the US while trying to make peace with powerful neighbour Russian Federation. He spoke Thursday during an unusual, all-day "media marathon" in a Kyiv food court amid growing questions about his actions as president.

It appears to be some of these White House officials who first alerted the whistleblower who started off this process of what was going on with the July phone call and other matters related to Ukraine.