Listen: President Donald Trump gets heat for urging Ukraine probe
"Thanks for joining us has learned tonight that the President United States pressed a foreign head of state to work with his personal criminal defense attorney to investigate the son of a political opponent when you strip away all the complexities surrounding and including where it fits in the whistle blower fair there's one simple central point to this story which I broke in the Wall Street Journal Journal late today according to the Journal in July twenty fifth phone call president trump in his official capacity. Ask the president of Ukraine to do something in his official official capacity that would benefit not this country but president trump himself both politically and personally citing sources familiar with the matter the journal reports that he pushed the Ukrainian President about eight times on that one phone call to work with Rudy Giuliani on a probe of Joe Biden son Hunter who worked for a time with the Ukrainian Gas Company now according to the Journal and you'll hear shortly from one of the reporters who broke that story for the Journal. This did not involve an explicit offer of something in return quoting from the story. Mr Trump didn't mention a provision of US aid to Ukraine on the call said this person who didn't believe Mr trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid pro quo for his cooperation on any investigation similar reporting as well from the Washington Post on that and the hard sell Hunter Biden but unlike the journal opposed goes one step beyond saying that the call is at the center of the whistle blower complaints. The White House is trying to squelch the president meantime had this to say. It's a partisan whistle. Blow shouldn't even have information. I've had conversations with many leaders that always is appropriate and thanks God can tell you that always appropriate at the highest level was appropriate and anything I do. I fight for this country. I fight so strongly only for this country. It's just another political hack job. That's all it is. It's called it a beautiful conversation with the Ukrainian president his words words by the way the President says the whistler there is partisan later. He admitted he doesn't know who the whistle blower is. As we mentioned the Wall Street Journal source said the president did not offer any kind kind of quid pro quo for the Ukrainian president cooperation but we should also point out that at the time of that call Ukraine was anticipating receiving a quarter billion dollars in in military aid from the United States at the time of the call the aide had been appropriated by Congress but not yet approved by the president and in fact it was later blocked by the the president pending a review so I just WanNa zero in for a moment on the timeline as we know it. The call is on July twenty fifth and sometime in the early weeks of August is Rudy Giuliani met with and spoke by phone with emissaries of the Ukrainian president on August twelfth. The whistle blower complaint was filed at the end of August president trump trump ordered a review effectively blocking that military aid to Ukraine that Congress has already approved September first vice president pence meets with Ukrainian mean President Zilenski eight days later three House committees begin investigating all this and by September twelve that hold on the aid that the president put was was lifted now we don't know exactly who said what to whom but it's clear that even as private citizens. Giuliani who was pressing Ukrainians the president in his official capacity city was blocking money they badly needed and now we know these reports bear out the president was directly and repeatedly leaning on the Ukrainian president to essentially make trouble for his political opponent Joe Biden. We also know the president has made it clear that when it comes to foreign dirt on political rivals that door is always open your campaign this time Brad Radish foreigners if Russia China. If someone else offers you information opponent should be accepted it should be called the FBI. I think maybe you do both. I think you might WanNA listen and I don't. There's nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country Norway we have information on your I think good one here. You want that kind of interference in elections. It's not an interference. They have information. I think I take it so having already said that that he would take it the question now now and it's kind of sickening to even ask would he also try to demanded or even extorted more now in the new reporting from the Wall Street Journal Rebecca Beca Ball House who shares a byline on it Rebecca. What are you learning about. President trump's call with the president of Ukraine. So what we understand is that in in this July twenty fifth call that he had with the president of Ukraine he repeatedly pressured him to investigate Joe Biden and his son in mentioned tinned on at least our around eight occasions that he should talk to trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani who's been mounting a very public campaign pain to have Ukraine look into what he believes is inappropriate by behavior by Joe Biden and his son but this is the first inclination that we have the first forest is revelation that we have that the president personally raised this in a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart based on your reporting. There was no explicit a quid pro quo on that call if you go after the Biden's or their company one hundred Biden is affiliated with you'll get the military aid that we're holding up there on the call. There was an equip roku correct. That's right and that is a major piece of this because the Washington Post reported earlier this week I in a really great story that the whole whistleblower complaint that we've been talking about centers on a promise that the president made to a foreign leader and his Lee at least as far as this call with the Ukrainian cranium president goes were not aware of any specific promises that he made on that call we we don't believe that he mentioned the foreign aid that his administration in August was reviewing whether to send to Ukraine and we don't believe he necessarily dangled any other quid pro quos to the Ukrainian president and also what we know is that that Rudy Giuliani has admitted that he met with top Ukrainian officials back in June and August about the prospect of an investigation right and and and Giuliani was pretty public about the fact that in May he was planning a trip to Ukraine to meet with the president with Dolinsky who I guess who was at the time the president elect elect and that the president that president trump was aware of his plan to go to Ukraine which ultimately ended up canceling but as you say he he met in June in Paris with an official from Ukraine Prosecutor General's office and he met in in Madrid Aug with a top aide twos Alinsky and we believe believe he raised this is an investigation on both occasions and it was fascinating is when you see Rudy Giuliani on television you really never know what he's going to say and it's not even clear the he's entirely clear what he has just said and so one can only imagine in these meetings with Ukrainian officials in which there may be no transcripts at all all what he has actually said or what sort of arrangements have been made. It's such a fascinating story. Rebecca appreciate your reporting. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me well as we mentioned. This is all now being investigated in the House including by the Oversight Committee Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly's a member. I spoke to him just before airtime culturing connolly. The President says it doesn't matter what he said to the president of Ukraine or whether he he talked about Biden eight times or not. Does it matter to you a traumatic to every American Addison it is not okay for the president of the United States to talk to a brand new newly-elected foreign leader who has no experience I might add in the political realm or in foreign policy and extort art from him a pledge to dig up dirt on a perspective political opponent that is not normal that is not ethical. It is probably probably not legal. None of us should accept that as the new norm in American politics use the word extort the journal is also appointing the president did not offer anything in exchange change on that call there are obviously a large commitments by the US that were being held up military aid and and the like which has now been released so after that call at the aid is the military assistance gets released released. Are you saying they're you think that would be a quid pro. Quo even if it's unspoken well well I use the word extortion deliberately Anderson because you accurately recall inexplicably president trump decided to suspend almost a quarter of a billion dollars of foreign military aid to Ukraine this at a time when combat continues in the eastern eastern part of the country when Russian troops occupy parts of the eastern part of the country and illegally occupy illegally annexed Crimea which is part of Ukraine watched the American people have confidence in Congress is ability right now to get answers from this White House whether it's in testimony or you know it seems like a just just stopping not cooperating is the White House strategy probably through the election and beyond well. I am one Edison who was called for the revival of inherent contempt. I think Congress has to enforce its own subpoenas and demands for documents by having a a a a menu of disciplines disciplinary action against those who refuse to cooperate to the legitimate oversight and accountability requirements of the Legislative branch of the United States government and that would certainly come into play here. This is another example of where trump has fired. I heard a confirmed director of an agency and put in place one of his own and acting director who certainly does not feel that he has the flexibility or maneuverability to respond to legitimate requests from Congress. He takes his marching orders from the guy who put him in the job and could take come out tomorrow morning. If this is true would this be collusion an effort to collude with a foreign power yes well. I would say it's at the the very least attempted collusion and remember many of us condemned Rudy Giuliani for saying he was going to do this very everything a number of months ago and at the time it was thought that he receives enough negative pressure from both sides of the Allen from the media that he backed off apparently he didn't not only did not back off the president himself got in the act and it's another sort of chapter in sorted presidency but realistically what what steps do you really have. I mean I know you said there should be a change in in inherent contempt but without that right now does this this just well. The the the only remedy had sent in front of us. Frankly is going to be impeachment. Connolly appreciate your time. Thank you"