14:37 03.10.2019

Security advisor to Pence present during phone conversation between Trump, Zelensky – media

2 min read
Security advisor to Pence present during phone conversation between Trump, Zelensky – media

National Security Advisor to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Joseph Keith Kellogg Jr., was present during the July 25, 2019 phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, The Washington Post newspaper has reported.

"One of Pence's top advisors was on the July 25 call and the vice president should have had access to the transcript within hours, officials said," the newspaper reported, citing informed sources.

The article said the call between Trump and Zelensky was monitored by Pence's national security adviser Kellogg, who did not see anything unusual in the conversation and did not express any concerns about it to the vice president.

The newspaper notes that it is unclear whether the vice president considered this conversation unworthy of attention, or if he failed to acquaint himself with what was said.

However, officials close to Pence insisted that he was unaware of Trump's attempts to convince Zelensky of the need to launch an investigation against Hunter Biden, the son of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

The article says Pence traveled to Warsaw to meet Zelensky on September 1, probably not having read, or at least not having fully studied the transcript of Trump's conversation with Zelensky.

The White House did not warn Pence about the existence of an informant complaint until the day it became public.

According to the publication, during a meeting with Zelensky, Pence conveyed that military assistance to Ukraine would be frozen amid concerns about the country's insufficient efforts to combat corruption.

He also emphasized Trump's disappointment that the European Union, in his opinion, is not doing enough work to help Ukraine.

Pence did not mention either Biden or the investigation into his son.

"The president consistently raised concerns about corruption and the lack of burden-sharing by European partners, so having run on an anti-corruption campaign, Zelensky was receptive to those messages," Pence's Chief of Staff Marc Short said, according to the article.

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