Officials Warned of Trump's Ukraine Policy before Zelensky Call

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks with journalists in Kyiv Ukraine on Oct. 10 2019. Zelenskiy held an all-day “media marathon” in a food court amid questions about his actions as president and on-again off-again U.S. military aid

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says he didn't know military aid from the United States had been held up before a phone call with President Donald Trump that is at the center of an impeachment inquiry. Ukrainian President is holding an all-day "media marathon" in a Kyiv food court amid growing questions about his actions as president.

"There was no blackmail", Zelensky said.

He flipped from Ukrainian to English and Russian.

Trump asked Zelenskiy during the call to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, and Congressional Democrats believe Trump was holding up the aid to use as leverage to pressure Ukraine.

Mr Zelensky said there were no conditions attached to him meeting Mr Trump, including whether he should investigate the activities of Hunter at Burisma. But he avoided saying when those investigations might happen, or how they'd be carried out.

Zelenskiy said the "key question" for him was to try to persuade the White House to "change its rhetoric" about Ukraine as a corrupt and untrustworthy country.


A TV and film comedian, Zelenskiy overwhelmingly won the presidency in April on promises to fight corruption and end the five-year conflict with Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

He said he had been made aware by his defence minister that Washington had frozen military aid to Ukraine. "When I did find out, I raised it with [U.S. Vice-President Mike] Pence at a meeting in Warsaw", Mr. Zelensky said on Thursday.

He said he thought the July call would lead to an in-person meeting with Trump, and wanted the American leader to come to Ukraine.

Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Pence met in the Polish capital on September 1.

After the record-setting media day - during which Mr. Zelensky took only 10-minute breaks between sessions with journalists - the Ukrainian President can now claim to have answered all the questions the world's media could throw at him (albeit in a format that ensured he'd be asked the same questions repeatedly, allowing him to give the same answers again and again).

The top federal prosecutor in Manhattan says two associates of Giuliani who are accused of trying to buy influence over USA policy on Ukraine were arrested while trying to leave the country. After nine hours, the 41-year-old president was still going strong.

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