Politics

Gaetz Defends Ukraine Call, Says Trump Acted on Sincere Concerns of Corruption

President Donald Trumps July phone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky involved acting on a sincere view of corruption in the country, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said on Sunday.

Former Bill Clinton aide George Stephanopoulus, now ABC News chief political anchor, asked Gaetz a question on ABCs “This Week.”

“Can you explain to the American people why you think its OK for the president of the United States to ask a foreign nation to investigate a political opponent and withhold a White House meeting at the same time?”

“I reject the premise of the question and thats what the president was doing. I think the president was acting on a sincere, longley held view and skepticism of foreign aid. I think he was acting on concern about Ukraine being the third most corrupt country in the world,” Gaetz said.

“And I think he was also reflecting specific concern about this Biden connection to Burisma. And remember, it was George Kent, a witness called by the Democrats, who came forward and said we were so worried about Burisma that our own embassy had to pull out of a public/private partnership that they were engaged in.”

Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 13, 2019. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
President Donald Trump, right, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak during a meeting in New York on Sept. 25, 2019. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

During the call, Trump asked Zelensky if he could “look into” allegations of corruption surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden, who in 2016 threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid from Ukraine unless its leaders ousted Viktor Shokin, a prosecutor who was investigating Bidens sons employer, Ukrainian energy giant Burisma.

Democrats say the request was improper because Biden is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Trump hasRead More – Source