US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has confirmed that he was on a call between US President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, in which Trump allegedly sought help to smear Joe Biden, the former vice president and current front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
“I was on the phone call,” he said at a press conference in Rome on Wednesday. “I know precisely what the American policy is with respect to Ukraine. It’s been remarkably consistent and we will continue to try to drive those set of outcomes.”
The US president is reportedly heard in the July 25 call, saying, “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”
The president has been trying to find the whistleblower, whose revelations lie at the heart of the impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives.
“They contacted State Department employees directly, told them not to contact legal counsel at the State Department,” Pompeo said. “They said that the State Department wouldn’t be able to be present.”
Trump has apparently pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, his potential opponent for the 2020 presidential election, and his son, Hunter, before Kiev can receive the US military aid
According to a survey released Tuesday, 40 percent of Republican respondents said Trump “probably did” raise the idea of an investigation into Bidens, while, 29 percent of Republicans said Trump “probably did not” mention it.
On the other hand, 85 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of independents said Trump likely raised the issue, according to the Monmouth University poll.