Trump’s shock Biden admission
US President Donald Trump has addressed reports that a whistleblower complaint may have accused him of wrongdoing related to a July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and insisted that there was "absolutely nothing wrong" with the substance of the discussion.
Mr Trump reportedly has been accused of asking Ukraine's leader multiple times to work with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in investigating former Vice President Joe Biden's son, and using military aid as leverage, reports the New York Post.
Mr Trump denied making any improper requests.
"The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, with largely corruption - all of the corruption taking place - and largely the fact that we don't want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine," Mr Trump said outside the White House on Sunday before departing for Houston.
"I said absolutely nothing wrong; it was perfect. There was no quid pro quo, there was nothing," he later added.
Mr Trump did point the finger at Joe Biden, however. The Democratic presidential hopeful's son Hunter Biden had been investigated related to business interests. Joe Biden has said in the past that the US would withhold $US1 billion ($A1.5 billion) in loan guarantees from Ukraine if the prosecutor was not fired, but it remains unclear if this was directly tied to Hunter Biden's case, as other countries reportedly wanted the prosecutor out as well.
Mr Trump accused Joe Biden of being dishonest in claiming that he never spoke to his son about his business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company, despite Hunter Biden telling the New Yorker that they spoke "just once" about it.
"And now he made a lie when he said he never spoke to his son," Mr Trump said. "Of course you spoke to your son!"
When asked about why he delayed military aid to Ukraine, Mr Trump said it had nothing to do with the Biden family.
"Because I want Germany, and I want France, and I want the European Union to put up money," Mr Trump said. "And I didn't delay anything. We paid the military aid to the best of my knowledge."
Democratic politician Adam Schiff doubted that Mr Trump's conversation with Mr Zelenskiy was innocent.
"Well if that's the case, then why doesn't the president simply release the transcript of that call?" Mr Schiff said on State of the Union on CNN. Mr Schiff also challenged Mr Trump to allow the release of the whistleblower complaint, accusing Mr Trump of not wanting to see either one.
The Democratic congressman has long been a vocal critic of the president but has not been among those calling for his impeachment. Mr Schiff said that may change in light of the reports of Mr Trump's conversation with Ukraine.
"If the president is essentially withholding military aid at the same time that he is trying to browbeat a foreign leader into doing something illicit … then that may be the only remedy that is coequal to the evil that that conduct represents."
Mr Giuliani has acknowledged that he was involved in investigating Hunter Biden, but claimed that his original goal was to investigate ties between Ukraine and Democrats related to the 2016 election. He denied that he was specifically out to get Joe Biden.
"What they're trying to say is I went there on a political mission to get Joe Biden in trouble," Mr Giuliani told Fox News Sunday, calling such a claim "ridiculous."
Mr Giuliani said that the suspicion of Joe Biden's wrongdoing related to his son's case was "inextricably linked" to what he had already been investigating related to the Democratic Party.
"This is going to get bigger and bigger, and everything I say I can prove," Mr Giuliani said.
Mr Trump said he would be amenable to Mr Giuliani discussing the matter before Congress.
"I would have no problem," Mr Trump said. "Rudy's a straight shooter, and Rudy wants to see the same thing as a lot of other people when it comes to Ukraine."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also fielded questions about Ukraine on Fox News Sunday, but declined to get into specifics, only stating that Mr Trump's discussions with world leaders "have always been 100 per cent appropriate, 100 per cent lawful."