Trump’s personal lawyer says he can’t say ‘100 per cent’ that president did not withhold aid to Ukraine to force Biden investigation

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani says that he cannot say with “100 per cent” certainty that the president did not threaten to cut off aid to Ukraine over calls for an investigation into largely discredited allegations against former vice president Joe Biden and his son.

Mr Giuliani, during an interview on the Fox Business Network on Monday morning, first responded to the line of questioning by saying that reports indicating Mr Trump had used the aid to pressure Ukrainian officials “was a false story” –  but then indicated he is not completely sure.

“Well, I can’t tell you if it’s 100 per cent,” Mr Giuliani said when pressed.

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The questions come after reports have indicated that the president attempted to force his Ukrainian counterpart to reopen a corruption case that involves Mr Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. Soon after that conversation, the White House put $250 million in military aid to Ukraine on hold.

The request was reportedly made during a call between Mr Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in July, and reports at that time indicated the US president had pushed for a re-opening of some corruption cases. But, the case involving Mr Biden’s son was not disclosed in official readouts.

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Volodymyr Zelenskiy, centre right, and his wife Olena Zelenska, greet supporters after exit polling gave the comedian a commanding lead

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Outgoing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko raises his hand with his wife Maryna at his party headquarters in Kiev

AFP/Getty Images

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Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy reacts following the announcement of the first exit poll

REUTERS

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Comedian and leading Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy plays ping pong with a journalist at his election night gathering in Kiev, Ukraine. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will face off in a second-round election on April 21

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Election officials count ballots at a polling station in Kiev during the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election,

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People walk in front of St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev during Ukraine’s presidential election

AFP/Getty

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Ukrainian servicemen sit in a truck to head to a polling station, near the front line with pro-Russian separatists, near Butivka, Donetsk region

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Ukrainian citizens living in Kyrgyzstan vote in Ukraine’s presidential election at a polling station in the Ukrainian embassy in Bishke

AFP/Getty

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Ukrainian citizens living in Kyrgyzstan vote in Ukraine’s presidential election at a polling station in the Ukrainian embassy in Bishkek

AFP/Getty

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Ukrainian citizens living in Kyrgyzstan vote in Ukraine’s presidential election at a polling station in the Ukrainian embassy in Bishkek

AFP/Getty

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Ukrainian citizens living in Kyrgyzstan vote in Ukraine’s presidential election at a polling station in the Ukrainian embassy in Bishkek

AFP/Getty

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A young girl casts the ballot of a man at a polling station in Kiev on the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election, on. Exit polls are expected when voting stations close at 8 pm local time (1700 GMT). First preliminary results are expected several hours after. Barring a shock result in which one candidate crosses the 50 percent threshold in the first round, a run-off will be held on April 2

AFP/Getty

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Ukrainian comic actor, showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky waves in front of voting booths at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty

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Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko speaks with the media after casting her ballot at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty

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Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko speaks with the media after casting her ballot at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty

16/26

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko speaks with the media after casting her ballot at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty

17/26

Ukrainian comic actor, showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky casts his ballot at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty

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Ukrainian comic actor, showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky gestures in front of voting booths at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty Images

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Ukrainian comic actor, showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky walks with his ballot at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty Images

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A view of the building of the Ukrainian Central Election Commission in Kiev during Ukraine’s presidential election.

AFP/Getty

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (L) casts his ballot at a polling station in Kiev on the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election, The 53-year-old president has positioned himself during the political campaign as the only person able to stand up to the Kremlin and has promised to return Crimea to Ukraine if he is re-elected.

AFP/Getty

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A voter emerges from the voting booth after filling out her ballot for Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev, Ukraine. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will face off in a second-round election on April 21.

Getty

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Ukrainian president Petro O. Poroshenko (C), running for re-election, receives his ballot in Ukraine’s presidential election on in Kiev, Ukraine. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will face off in a second-round election on April 21

Getty

24/26

A woman holds her ballot as she leaves a voting booth at a polling station in Kiev on the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election. – Exit polls are expected when voting stations close at 8 pm local time (1700 GMT). First preliminary results are expected several hours after. Barring a shock result in which one candidate crosses the 50 percent threshold in the first round, a run-off will be held on April 21

AFP/Getty

25/26

A young girl casts the ballot of a man at a polling station in Kiev on the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election. Exit polls are expected when voting stations close at 8 pm local time (1700 GMT). First preliminary results are expected several hours after. Barring a shock result in which one candidate crosses the 50 percent threshold in the first round, a run-off will be held on April 21

AFP/Getty

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Ukrainian servicemen queue to cast their ballots at a polling station near the front line line with pro-Russian separatists near Avdiivka, Donetsk region, during the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election

AFP/Getty

1/26

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, centre right, and his wife Olena Zelenska, greet supporters after exit polling gave the comedian a commanding lead

AP

2/26

Outgoing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko raises his hand with his wife Maryna at his party headquarters in Kiev

AFP/Getty Images

3/26

Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy reacts following the announcement of the first exit poll

REUTERS

4/26

Comedian and leading Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy plays ping pong with a journalist at his election night gathering in Kiev, Ukraine. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will face off in a second-round election on April 21

Getty

5/26

Election officials count ballots at a polling station in Kiev during the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election,

AFP/Getty

6/26

People walk in front of St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev during Ukraine’s presidential election

AFP/Getty

7/26

Ukrainian servicemen sit in a truck to head to a polling station, near the front line with pro-Russian separatists, near Butivka, Donetsk region

AFP/Getty

8/26

Ukrainian citizens living in Kyrgyzstan vote in Ukraine’s presidential election at a polling station in the Ukrainian embassy in Bishke

AFP/Getty

9/26

Ukrainian citizens living in Kyrgyzstan vote in Ukraine’s presidential election at a polling station in the Ukrainian embassy in Bishkek

AFP/Getty

10/26

Ukrainian citizens living in Kyrgyzstan vote in Ukraine’s presidential election at a polling station in the Ukrainian embassy in Bishkek

AFP/Getty

11/26

Ukrainian citizens living in Kyrgyzstan vote in Ukraine’s presidential election at a polling station in the Ukrainian embassy in Bishkek

AFP/Getty

12/26

A young girl casts the ballot of a man at a polling station in Kiev on the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election, on. Exit polls are expected when voting stations close at 8 pm local time (1700 GMT). First preliminary results are expected several hours after. Barring a shock result in which one candidate crosses the 50 percent threshold in the first round, a run-off will be held on April 2

AFP/Getty

13/26

Ukrainian comic actor, showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky waves in front of voting booths at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty

14/26

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko speaks with the media after casting her ballot at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty

15/26

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko speaks with the media after casting her ballot at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty

16/26

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko speaks with the media after casting her ballot at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty

17/26

Ukrainian comic actor, showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky casts his ballot at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty

18/26

Ukrainian comic actor, showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky gestures in front of voting booths at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty Images

19/26

Ukrainian comic actor, showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky walks with his ballot at a polling station during Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev

AFP/Getty Images

20/26

A view of the building of the Ukrainian Central Election Commission in Kiev during Ukraine’s presidential election.

AFP/Getty

21/26

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (L) casts his ballot at a polling station in Kiev on the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election, The 53-year-old president has positioned himself during the political campaign as the only person able to stand up to the Kremlin and has promised to return Crimea to Ukraine if he is re-elected.

AFP/Getty

22/26

A voter emerges from the voting booth after filling out her ballot for Ukraine’s presidential election in Kiev, Ukraine. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will face off in a second-round election on April 21.

Getty

23/26

Ukrainian president Petro O. Poroshenko (C), running for re-election, receives his ballot in Ukraine’s presidential election on in Kiev, Ukraine. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will face off in a second-round election on April 21

Getty

24/26

A woman holds her ballot as she leaves a voting booth at a polling station in Kiev on the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election. – Exit polls are expected when voting stations close at 8 pm local time (1700 GMT). First preliminary results are expected several hours after. Barring a shock result in which one candidate crosses the 50 percent threshold in the first round, a run-off will be held on April 21

AFP/Getty

25/26

A young girl casts the ballot of a man at a polling station in Kiev on the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election. Exit polls are expected when voting stations close at 8 pm local time (1700 GMT). First preliminary results are expected several hours after. Barring a shock result in which one candidate crosses the 50 percent threshold in the first round, a run-off will be held on April 21

AFP/Getty

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Ukrainian servicemen queue to cast their ballots at a polling station near the front line line with pro-Russian separatists near Avdiivka, Donetsk region, during the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election

AFP/Getty

Since then, however, the call has become the subject of an explosive whistle-blower complaint, the details of which are being sought by Democrats in Congress who view the material as potentially important to opening an impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump.

Just days after the phone call in July, Mr Giuliani reportedly met with an aide to the Ukrainian president in Madrid, and detailed two specific cases they believed should be pursued. Those included a probe into a Ukrainian gas tycoon who had Hunter Biden on his company’s board.

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The other was related to allegations that Democrats had colluded with Ukraine to release damaging information about Mr Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, during the 2016 election.

Mr Giuliani has said he has been lobbying the Ukrainian government for action for months now, in an action that national security experts have said is inappropriate and potentially opens up the US president and the 2020 election to outside influence.


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