The president of Ukraine is once again denying that President Trump ever pressured him during the phone call at the heart of the Democrats' presidential impeachment inquiry.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told reporters in Kyiv, "There was no blackmail. We are not servants. We are an independent country."
"I think, my opinion, I don't know in any cases," he continued. "But in our case what we had. I think that this is not corruption, because it was just a call.
The July phone call embarrassed Zelenskiy because it showed him as eager to please Trump and critical of European partners whose support he needs to strengthen Ukraine's economy and to end the conflict with Russia.
Zelenskiy said it was "wrong" of the White House to publish a rough transcript of the call and he will not publish the Ukrainian transcript. He said he "didn't even check" whether the Ukrainian transcript is the same, but "I think they match."
Trump has said the United States has an "absolute right" to ask foreign leaders to investigate corruption cases.
Ukraine's top prosecutor last week said his office would review several cases related to the owner of the gas company where former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden sat on the board. And Zelenskiy on Thursday invited US and Ukrainian prosecutors to cooperate but insisted he would not interfere.
Declaring in a tweet that the Ukrainian president's defense exonerated him, Trump said, "that should end this Democrat scam, but it won't, because the Dems & media are fixed!"
This news comes as more Americans than ever before support impeachment:
- 51 percent of all voters in a Fox News poll want President Trump impeached and removed from office.
- 40 percent oppose impeachment altogether.
- 43 percent think what the president said on the phone call with Zelenskiy was an impeachable offense.