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GOP report: Evidence 'does not prove' Trump pressured Ukraine for political benefit

Trump and the GOP have a conspiracy theory on Ukraine GOP report: Evidence 'does not prove' Trump pressured Ukraine for political benefit
Cecil Davis | 03 December, 2019, 21:45

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a newly-released interview that he never discussed "quid pro quo" with President Donald Trump, once again denying any link between the release of USA military aid in exchange for investigations.

Further casting doubt on the GOP theory of Ukraine engaging in a coordinated attack on the US election, Politico reported this week that the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee already investigated the possibility and didn't find the evidence it was looking for.

In the report's conclusion, Republican staff say the evidence "paints a picture of unelected bureaucrats within the foreign policy and national security apparatus who fundamentally disagreed with President Trump's style, world view, and decisions". "It might seem like an easy thing to say, that combination of words: Ukraine is a corrupt country".

"For me it's very important for the United States, with all they can do for us, for them really to understand that we are a different country, that we are different people". So he said he wasn't aware of or concerned with any alleged quid pro quo - he was concerned about his nation's ability to defend itself.

That theory has been at the heart of Trump's justification for withholding aid to Ukraine in return for an investigation into Joe Biden, his chief Democratic rival in 2020 - a move to leverage USA government resources for personal political benefit that has triggered a House impeachment inquiry. We're at war. If you're our strategic partner, then you can't go blocking anything for us. But Mr. Zelenskiy didn't go that far in a Time interview published on December 2.

"I think both Russian Federation and Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election", Kennedy said.

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"There is also compelling and indisputable evidence that Ukrainian government officials - some working with a Democrat operative - sought to influence the US presidential election in 2016 in favor of Secretary Clinton and in opposition to President Trump", Republicans claim.

A day after telling Wallace that Ukraine had interfered in the election, Kennedy told Chris Cuomo on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" that he had misunderstood Wallace's question and his response had been mistaken.

The aid is vital to Ukraine, which is in the midst of an ongoing battle to regain the Crimean peninsula, which was illegally annexed by Russian Federation in 2014.

"I think that Mr. Trump can speak directly", he said. "But that signal from [the United States] is very important".

"When America says, for instance, that Ukraine is a corrupt country, that is the hardest of signals", Zelensky told the magazine. Everyone hears that signal.

White House efforts to restrict access to the summary of the July 25 call between Trump and Zelenskiy was about preventing leaks, not covering up wrongdoing, the GOP argued.