NEW YORK (AP, NYTIMES) - United States President Donald Trump repeatedly prodded Ukraine’s new leader to work with the US attorney general and lawyer Rudy Giuliani to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden, according to a rough transcript summarising the call released on Wednesday (Sept 25).
The reconstructed transcript of Mr Trump’s 30-minute conversation with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine reveals the discussion between the two men that took place on July 25 that was at least in part the focus of a disputed whistle-blower complaint.
Here are excerpts from the rough transcript:
Trump: I would like you to do us a favour though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they saw Crowdstrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you are surrounding yourself with some of the same people.
I would like to have the Attorney-General call you or your people, and I would like to get to the bottom of it.
As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it is very important that you do it if that is possible.
Zelensky: Yes, it is very important to me and everything that you just mentioned. For me as a president, it is very important, and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine...
I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. That I can assure you.
Trump: Good, because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that is really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved.
Mr (Rudy) Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney-General. Rudy very much knows what is happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him, that would be great...
The other thing, there is a lot of talk about (former vice-president Joe) Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney-General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.
Zelensky: I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all, I understand and I am knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor-general will be 100 per cent my person, my candidate, who will be approved by the Parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue.
The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty, so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country.