President Trump offered a couple of updates Sunday on the latest “fake news”-driven scandal that Democrats have added to their ever-growing list of reasons to impeach him ASAP: It turns out that the whistleblower whose claims sparked the latest conflagration doesn’t actually have any firsthand knowledge of the call, and the Ukrainian government is denying that Trump tried to pressure them — and says they felt really good about the call from their end. The “real story,” said Trump, is former Vice President Joe Biden strong-arming Ukraine to oust a prosecutor that investigated his son’s company.
“Now the Fake News Media says I ‘pressured the Ukrainian President at least 8 times during my telephone call with him,'” Trump tweeted Sunday night. “This supposedly comes from a so-called ‘whistleblower’ who they say doesn’t even have a first hand account of what was said. More Democrat/Crooked Media con.”
“Breaking News: The Ukrainian Government just said they weren’t pressured at all during the ‘nice’ call,” Trump added in a follow-up tweet. “Sleepy Joe Biden, on the other hand, forced a tough prosecutor out from investigating his son’s company by threat of not giving big dollars to Ukraine. That’s the real story!”
Trump’s reference to the Ukrainian government denying the claim that he “pressured” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on a July 25 phone call appears to be a reference to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko telling Hromadske that he doesn’t believe “there was any coercion” in the call.
“American investigators have the full right to turn to the U.S. and to get this information if they think that our president has been pressured,” said Prystaiko. “They can clear this up. I know what they spoke about, and I don’t think there was any coercion. There was a talk – talks can be on different topics; leaders have the right to talk about any problems they wish. This conversation was long, it was friendly, and it touched on a lot of questions, some of which had rather serious implications.”
Trump’s comment about the whistleblower not having any “firsthand” knowledge of the call comes via CNN, which reported Friday that the alleged whistleblower “didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications that partly prompted the complaint to the inspector general, an official briefed on the matter told CNN on Thursday.”
Prior to posting his big updates, Trump was busy blasting away at the Ukraine issue on Sunday, telling the White House press that his call was “absolutely perfect” and again pointing to Biden’s handling of Ukraine as the real scandal.
“The conversation was absolutely perfect,” Trump told reporters Sunday. “That call was a great call. It was a perfect call. What wasn’t perfect is the horrible thing that Joe Biden said, and now he made a lie when he said he never spoke to his son. I mean, give me a break.”
Biden has continued to deny that his pressuring of Ukraine to remove its top prosecutor had anything to do with his son, Hunter. “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden said. “Here’s what I know. Trump should be investigated.”
But Biden’s claim that he never spoke to his son about his business dealings in Ukraine, Trump said, is another “lie.”
“He did speak to his son, he lied again,” Trump said. Biden “said a very foolish thing,” he added, referencing “what he said about the billions of dollars that he wouldn’t give them unless they fired the prosecutor and then he bragged about how they fired the prosecutor and they got the money.”
Trump also warned against the damage “false alarms” by alleged “whistleblowers” could do to the presidency. “You can’t have people doing false alarms like this, and you know when the president speaks to the head of another country, he has to be able to speak to those people, and those people don’t want to know that they’re being recorded or that you have a stenographer working, you don’t want to have to hear that,” he said. “You can’t do that to a president and you can’t do that to other countries. But with all of that being said we had a very great conversation, very straight, very honest conversation. I hope they can put it out.”