POLITICS

White House Releases Summary Of First Trump Call To Ukrainian President

Prior to their infamous July 25 conversation, Donald Trump spoke with Volodymyr Zelensky on April 21 to congratulate him for his election win.

The White House released a summary of a short, unclassified phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which took place on April 21.

The call primarily consisted of Trump congratulating Zelensky for his presidential election win.

“I think you will do a great job. I have many friends in Ukraine who know you and like you,” Trump told Zelensky, according to the White House memo summarizing the call.

The release of the summary comes as the White House continues to stymie lawmakers’ demands for documents and witnesses related to the impeachment inquiry. The White House has continued to stonewall the inquiry and has tried to delegitimize Democrats’ efforts.

The April call was the first between the two presidents, preceding the July 25 conversation in which Trump asked Ukraine’s newly elected leader to investigate Trump’s presidential rival Joe Biden. The White House released a summary of that call in September.

Trump mentioned his first call with the newly elected Ukrainian leader at a news conference on Sept. 25. “I spoke to [Zelensky] previous to the call that we released, which was a very innocent call,” Trump said. “Very, very innocent, very nice call.”

The April 21 call is also referenced in a whistleblower complaint, the redacted version of which was released on Sept. 26.

The bombshell complaint alleged Trump was abusing the power of his office by pressuring foreign governments, specifically Ukraine, to interfere in U.S. elections. During Trump’s call with Zelensky in July — when he asked his counterpart to investigate Biden and his son — the U.S. was withholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine.

Involved U.S. diplomats have testified that the decision was an attempted quid pro quo.

The House launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump after the release of the whistleblower’s complaint, and Congress has now spoken to numerous witnesses who have corroborated the whistleblower’s account.

Trump said Saturday he would release a transcript of his April call with Zelensky and claimed it was “very important.”

“You’ll read the second. call, and you’ll tell me if there’s anything wrong with it,” he said.

Read the White House summary of the April call below: 

Liza Hearon contributed reporting.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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