Trump: Zelensky did not even suspect military assistance to Ukraine was being held, Kyiv received money unconditionally
U.S. President Donald Trump has said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko did not even know about the delay of U.S. military assistance to Ukraine.
"Republicans & others must remember, the Ukrainian President and Foreign Minister both said that there was no pressure placed on them whatsoever. Also, they didn't even know the money wasn't paid, and got the money with no conditions. But why isn't Germany, France (Europe) paying?" Trump said on Twitter on Sunday.
Trump called Democrats "crazy" and "do-nothing [lawmakers]" saying they are using the impeachment process as a weapon against him.
Trump also criticized Jennifer Williams, an assistant to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who testified that his telephone conversation with Zelensky on July 25, 2019 was "inappropriate."
"Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released statement from Ukraine. Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don't know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!" Trump said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal said U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland kept senior officials in the Trump administration informed of efforts to persuade Ukraine to launch an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
According to the letters at the disposal of the publication, on July 19, the day before the president was supposed to have a conversation with Zelensky, Sondland sent an e-mail to a group of administration officials, including the acting head of the White House administration, Mick Mulvane, and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, in which he said that Zelensky was ready to assure Trump that he would begin an investigation.
Zelensky "will assure him" that he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will 'turn over every stone," Sondland wrote in the email, according to the newspaper. He added that Zelensky wanted this call to take place before Ukraine's snap parliamentary elections on July 21, 2019.
Mulvane replied that he had asked National Security Council to schedule a call the next day.
Democrats began the impeachment process against the president on September 24, 2019 after a whistleblower expressed concern about Trump's telephone conversation with Zelensky on July 25, 2019. During the conversation, Trump urged Zelensky to start an investigation against former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and into alleged interference by Ukraine in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.