Donald Trump on Friday denied an accusation from his political rival Hillary Clinton that he sought help from a foreign government to help his bid for re-election – a potential replay of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.
The White House was rocked this week by a whistleblower’s complaint that concerned a private conversation between the president and a foreign leader. Some of the allegations appear to centre on Ukraine, according to reports in the Washington Post and the New York Times.
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Trump spoke to the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, on 25 July, about two weeks before the complaint was filed. Washington is rife with speculation that the US president may have been pressuring Zelensky to provide damaging information about former vice-president Joe Biden, his potential opponent in the 2020 election.
On Friday the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate Biden’s son, Hunter. In the July phone call, Trump urged Zelensky about eight times to work with Giuliani on the investigation, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.
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One of the sources added that Trump did not mention a provision of foreign aid to Ukraine on the call, and the source did not believe Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid pro quo.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Trump, told the Journal he met top Ukrainian officials about the prospect of an investigation in June and August.
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In 2016 the Trump campaign had numerous contacts with Russia and accepted a meeting that promised “dirt” on Clinton, although the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report earlier this year concerning his investigation into the controversy stopped short of finding direct collusion.
Clinton, a former secretary of state and Trump’s opponent in 2016, tweeted: “The president asked a foreign power to help him win an election. Again.”
Trump offered a...
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