Ukraine leader says he didn't discuss 'quid pro quo' with Trump

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Todd spoke with Kennedy on Meet the Press Sunday about his comments the week before to Fox's Chris Wallace that both Ukraine and Russian Federation meddled in the US presidential election in 2016.

One of President Trump's cited reasons for withholding security aid to Ukraine was concern about corruption.

"I did not speak with US President Trump in those terms: you give me this, I give you that", Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with European publications including Germany's Der Spiegel magazine. "That's not my thing", Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said in some of his most pointed comments to date on the ongoing impeachment saga.

"I don't want us to look like beggars. It's not about a quid pro quo, It just goes without saying".

The claim was also repeated by GOP lawmakers during the public impeachment hearings into Trump's alleged attempt to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, as well as debunked conspiracy theory involving Democrats in 2016. We're at war. If you're our strategic partner, then you can't go blocking anything for us.

He said that an end to the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine could not be discussed until three preliminary steps had been taken. I think that's just about fairness.

Far from exonerating Trump, that sounded like the Ukrainian president was criticizing Trump for withholding USA military aid for our vulnerable ally.

"Democrats have posited a false choice: that influence in the 2016 election is binary - it could have been conducted by Russian Federation or by Ukraine, but not both".

"I don't know these people. I can't understand what dough they're made of", he said. "Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have worldwide capital in Ukraine, it's a signal to them that says, 'Be careful, don't invest.' Or, 'Get out of there'".

"Everyone hears that signal", he said.

"All branches of government were corrupted over many years", he said. "But that signal from [the United States] is very important". "Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have worldwide capital in Ukraine, it's a signal to them that says, 'Be careful, don't invest.' Or, 'Get out of there'".

I was all set to explain, once again, that Zelensky's assessments of Trump's misdeeds aren't altogether relevant to the impeachment inquiry.

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