I tried to persuade Trump that Zelensky could be trusted, - Volker

President Donald Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Thursday Oct. 3 2019 before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base Md. and then on to Florida

In the several pages of messages released by the Democratic leaders of the committees, USA diplomats discussed setting up the July 25 telephone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that has been central to the impeachment investigation into whether Trump should be removed from office.

On the morning of the call, in an exchange with a key adviser to the Ukrainian President, then-US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker made clear that it was important to the White House that Zelensky convince Trump that an investigation into the 2016 election would happen.

He said he had not previously asked Chinese president Xi Jinping to investigate the former vice president and his son Hunter, but said it is "certainly something we could start thinking about".

Trump's comments evoked his public call in 2016 for Russian Federation to release Hillary Clinton's emails if they had obtained them by hacking - which U.S. intelligence agencies later determined to be the case.

"My thoughts is, I think there is going to be a wave of patriotic Americans who are going to start coming forward, because there's been a lot of things that have taken place behind the scenes and the cover-up has begun by this president", Meeks replied. "He wanted an investigation into a seriously conflicted former vice president of the United States who damaged the reputation of the United States in Ukraine".

Trump and Giuliani allege that Biden, as vice president, tried to block a Ukraine corruption probe into his son's business partner, using USA aid as leverage.

Volker resigned from his position last week after his name was mentioned in an explosive whistleblower complaint alleging that Trump solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election.

The messages were later released by Democrats. "Sadly, he choked!" Trump tweeted.

That statement was one of a series of choreographed steps that Ukraine needed to secure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy a meeting with Trump in Washington, according to evidence before U.S. House of Representatives committees spearheading the impeachment inquiry.

The messages between the diplomats get increasingly fraught.

Of the three, it's Taylor - the top diplomat in Ukraine who has served under at least four administrations - who expresses serious concern that the administration has placed a hold on aid to Ukraine, warning the move had "shaken their faith with us".

That has prompted the US Congress to begin an impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Trump has been calling for Schiff's resignation because the latter read to Congress a "parody" of the Ukraine call that the president claimed was not what he said to his Ukrainian counterpart.

GCHQ has called allegations that it spied on Mr Trump "totally ridiculous". Secretary of Energy Rick Perry led the president's delegation instead.

Pence's aides disputed that, blaming logistics - not Trump - for the decision.

Biden campaign chairman Cedric Richmond dismissed Trump's assertions as a reflection of the president's concerns about facing Biden in his re-election campaign. The US Department of Justice has found that last July's Trump-Zelensky conversation contained nothing that might constitute a violation of the national legislation or any reasons for further investigation or other action. Volker told the House investigators it was unusual for the U.S.to withhold the aid, but he said he was given no explanation for it, the person said.



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