Trump Says ‘Unredacted’ Transcript of Conversation With Ukraine Leader to Be Released

September 24, 2019 Updated: September 25, 2019

President Donald Trump said that the transcript of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will be released with no redactions.

He said it will be released on Sept. 25.

“I am currently at the United Nations representing our Country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine,” he wrote on Twitter on Sept. 24.

“You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”

Democratic lawmakers have used the conversation, about which little is known, to push for an impeachment inquiry into Trump, the hardest push since the release of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report punctured the Russia–Trump collusion theory.

Trump had said on Sept. 23 that he could release the transcript but said he’d prefer not to.

“I can do it very easily, but I’d rather not do it from the standpoint of all of the other conversations I have. I may do it, because it was a very innocent call,” he said.

The president has been accused of improperly pressuring Zelensky to probe former Vice President Joe Biden, who in 2018 bragged about pressuring Ukraine to in 2016 fire a prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma, an energy company where Biden’s son Hunter Biden worked.

Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, have repeatedly urged media outlets to probe the situation involving the Bidens, and multiple current and former Ukrainian officials have said they have evidence the Democratic National Committee interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, Shokin’s replacement, told The Hill he eventually re-opened the probe into Burisma and found “members of the Board obtained funds as well as another U.S.-based legal entity, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, for consulting services.”

He said he wanted to give the information, including details about the pressure Biden placed on the Ukraine government, to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, adding, “Unfortunately, Mr. Biden had correlated and connected this aid with some of the HR [personnel] issues and changes in the prosecutor’s office.”

Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a speech
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a speech at The Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre, a place of a mass execution of Jews by Nazis in World War II, during a memorial ceremony in Kiev on Aug. 19, 2019. (Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images)

Media outlets have hyped the so-called whistleblower report against Trump, but, according to reports, the person who wanted to report Trump’s allegedly improper behavior during the call didn’t have direct knowledge of what took place during the discussion.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said over the weekend that the call didn’t include Trump pressuring Ukraine’s leader.

“I know what the conversation was about, and I think there was no pressure,” Prystaiko told the media outlet Hromadske. “This conversation was long, friendly, and it touched on many questions, sometimes requiring serious answers.”

Prystaiko said Ukraine was an independent state and wouldn’t take sides regarding the political situation in the United States, adding that the Ukrainian government appreciates the assistance it has received from the United States.

Prystaiko also said that said Zelensky’s conversations with other leaders can be confidential, telling the outlet, “I want to say that we are an independent state; we have our secrets.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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