ADDS STATEMENT FROM BIDEN, CHANGES DECK
By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) – U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly pressured his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Citing people familiar with matter, the newspaper said Trump urged Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call in July "about eight times” to work with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on a probe into Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine.
Trump told Zelensky that he should work with Giuliani on Biden and that people in Washington wanted to know whether allegations were true, a source told the Journal.
According to the source, Trump did not mention the provision of foreign aid to Ukraine in the call.
That person also said that Giuliani met with senior Ukrainian officials about the prospect of an investigation.
House Democrats are reportedly looking into whether the U.S. president sought to benefit from information that could harm Biden and help Trump's reelection campaign.
Giuliani claimed Biden worked to safeguard a Ukrainian gas company linked to his son.
Hours before the report, Trump defended his phone call with the Ukrainian leader, calling it "totally appropriate."
Speaking to reporters at the Oval Office, Trump did not respond to questions about whether he had spoken about Biden with the Ukrainian leader, saying: "It doesn’t matter what I discussed."
"Someone ought to look into Joe Biden," Trump said.
Later, in a statement, Biden called on Trump to release the transcript of the call.
He said what Trump allegedly did exploits the foreign policy of the U.S. and undermines U.S. national security for political purposes.
"At minimum, Donald Trump should immediately release the transcript of the call in question, so that the American people can judge for themselves, and direct the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to stop stonewalling and release the whistleblower notification," said Biden.
Last month, a whistleblower from the U.S. intelligence community filed a complaint alleging that Trump made a "promise" to a foreign leader, according to a report from the Washington Post.