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Trump attacks Biden and dismisses impeachment threat during surprise appearance at UN

Asked if he was taking the threat from some Democrats seriously, Trump answered: “Not at all seriously.”

Trump spent about 15 minutes at the summit and didn’t speak.
Trump spent about 15 minutes at the summit and didn’t speak.
Image: PA Images

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has dismissed the threat of impeachment over allegations that he tried to pressure Ukraine’s leader into investigating his 2020 election rival Joe Biden.

Asked if he was taking the threat from some Democrats seriously, Trump answered: “Not at all seriously.”

US media reports revealed that an intelligence community whistleblower had filed a report after becoming alarmed at Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call.

Trump has confirmed that he discussed what he says was corruption by Biden’s family during the call but denies applying pressure on Zelensky.

“We had a perfect phone call,” he told reporters on surprise arrival at the United Nations climate change summit in New York.

Everybody knows it’s just a Democrat witch hunt. Here we go again, they failed with Russia, they failed with recession, they failed with everything and now they’re bringing this up. The one that’s got the problem is Biden.

“What Biden did was a disgrace, what his son did is a disgrace. His son took money from Ukraine, his son took money from China, ” Trump added.  

Source: Fox News/YouTube

The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump pressed Zelensky about eight times on the call to investigate possible corruption involving Biden’s son Hunter, who worked with a Ukrainian natural gas company.

Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden was named a paid board member of Ukranian gas company Burisma Holdings in April 2014, two months after Ukraine’s Russia-friendly president was ousted by protesters.

Two years later, Vice President Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, who was accused by many in Ukraine and in the West of being soft on corruption.

Trump has claimed that the prosecutor, who had led an investigation into Burisma’s owner, “was after” Hunter Biden and the vice president was trying to protect his son. 

There is no evidence of this.

During this period, Biden was spearheading anti-corruption efforts Ukraine and it has even been suggested that the removal of the prosecutor made it more likely that Burisma would be investigated.  

According to some reports, Trump tried to pressure Zelensky to go after Biden by temporarily withholding US military aid to Ukraine.

Growing numbers of Democrats believe they should open impeachment proceedings against Trump.

However, party leaders have resisted, knowing that the Republicans, who are in lockstep with Trump, would almost certainly prevent an impeachment trial taking place in the Senate.

The White House is under pressure to release a transcript of the call between Trump and Zelensky. Democrats, who control the lower house of Congress, are also seeking to question the whistleblower, whose identity remains secret.

- With reporting by © – AFP 2019 and Associated Press

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Rónán Duffy

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