Sep 20, 2019

Trump to meet Ukrainian president at UN amid whistleblower controversy

Dave Lawler, author of World

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The White House has announced President Trump's itinerary for next week at the UN General Assembly, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is among the world leaders with whom Trump is slated to meet.

Why it matters: Ukraine is reportedly at the center of a whistleblower's concerns over Trump's contacts with a foreign leader, the Washington Post and New York Times reported. While little is known about the whistleblower complaint, Trump spoke with Zelensky two weeks before the issue was raised in August. Per the Post, Trump made a "promise" that troubled a member of the intelligence community.

A senior administration official said that in Wednesday's meeting, Trump would congratulate Zelensky on his election victory and his "energy and success" thus far in tackling corruption, while raising "his concerns about predatory Chinese economic activity in Ukraine."

  • Trump's agenda also includes meetings with the leaders of Pakistan, Poland, New Zealand, Singapore, Egypt, South Korea, the U.K., India, Iraq and El Salvador.
  • He'll host a summit Monday on religious freedom, while skipping a major UN gathering that day on climate change.
  • Administration officials on Friday's briefing call said that in his UN speech, Trump would present the U.S. as an alternative to authoritarianism, while stressing his "commitment to upholding democracy and protecting religious freedom."

Go deeper ... Read: Intelligence watchdog's letters about "urgent" whistleblower complaint

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