Sep 25, 2019

Trump vents frustration that Ukraine drama overshadowed UN trip

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump concluded his visit to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday by slamming Democrats and the press for undermining him on the world stage by focusing their attention on his communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

What he’s saying: Trump suggested House Democrats were faking their outrage over his request that Ukraine investigate alleged "corruption" by Joe Biden and his son Hunter, saying Reps. Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler “must laugh their asses off” in private after denouncing him on camera. Repeatedly describing his conversation with Zelensky as “perfect,” Trump asked, “Impeachment for that?”

The latest: Trump said he’d be willing to release details of a prior call with Zelensky, as well as communications between Zelenksy and Vice President Pence. He also said he had told House Republicans he supports “transparency” concerning the whistleblower, whose concerns about the call sparked the controversy — but he claimed the complaint was based on “supposedly secondhand information.”

Trump described his trip to the UN this week as “tremendous” and “very busy,” and he began with references to his bilateral meetings with about a dozen world leaders.

  • He bemoaned the fact that it was all overshadowed by the frenzy back in Washington over impeachment. “The witch hunt continues,” he said with frustration.
  • Trump insisted there was “no quid pro quo” whereby Zelensky would be “pressured” to investigate Biden in exchange for the release of U.S. military aid, which he'd frozen days before the call.
  • He said, with no evidence, that there was such a quid pro quo in Biden’s actions in Ukraine. There's no evidence Biden intervened improperly in an investigation into his son's business dealings in Ukraine, as Trump claims.

The bottom line: Trump was asked whether he was now prepared for a prolonged impeachment saga. He said that after the Mueller report came out, “I thought we won. I thought it was dead.” He didn’t hide his frustration that it isn’t.

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Trump to meet Ukraine's Zelensky at UN amid impeachment frenzy

Photos: Ludovic Marin, Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump is set to meet face to face with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine for the first time today at the UN General Assembly — right as the House is launching an impeachment inquiry around his July phone call with Zelensky.

What to watch: A senior White House official told reporters Trump will congratulate Zelensky on his election win and his “energy and success” so far on anti-corruption reforms. Trump will also raise trade and “his concerns about what he sees as some predatory Chinese economic activity in Ukraine,” the official said.

Go deeperArrowSep 25, 2019

Trump-Ukraine scandal: The key players, dates and documents

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The House's impeachment inquiry has been driven forward by new disclosures of what exactly President Trump wanted the government of Ukraine to do — revealed in 3 key documents, but nonetheless distorted and disputed along the way.

We've gathered the key players, events and disclosures of the Trump-Ukraine saga in one place to clear up what's happened so far and examine where we go from here.

Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019

Biden to Kimmel: It's hard to avoid Trump impeachment conclusion

A screenshot of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Wednesday.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Wednesday it's hard to avoid the conclusion that an impeachable offense had been committed by President Trump.

Why it matters: These are the former vice president's strongest words yet on House Democrats opening a formal impeachment inquiry into allegations that Trump may have pressured Ukraine's president to investigate him and his son Hunter Biden.

Go deeperArrowSep 26, 2019