While President Trump Has Maintained His Call With Ukraine President Zelensky Was “Perfect,” He Doesn’t Have An Answer For What Favor He Wanted Zelensky To Perform.
In a press conference, strange even by his standards, President Trump sat next to visiting Finish President Niinistö and avoided answering a question about his phone call at the center of the Impeachment Inquiry now being conducted by the Democrats in the House.
It’s not unusual for the President to not answer reporter’s questions. He doesn’t really hold many press conferences to begin with. But this was different.
Question: “What about Mr. Biden? What did you want about Biden? What did you want him to look into about Biden?”
Trump: “Look, Biden and his son are stone cold crooked, and you know it. His son walks out with millions of dollars. The kid knows nothing. You know it, and so do we. Go ahead ask a question.”
Question: “The question, sir, was what did you want President Zelensky to do about Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter?”
Trump: “Are you talking to me?”
Question: “Yeah, it was just a follow-up of what I just asked you, sir.”
Trump: “Listen. You ready? We have the president of Finland. Ask him a question.”
Question: “I have one for him. I just wanted to follow up on the one that I asked you, which was what did you want …”
Trump: “Did you hear me? Did you hear me? Ask him a question, please. I’ve given you a long answer. Ask this gentleman a question. Don’t be rude.”
Question: “No, Sir. I don’t want to be rude. I just wanted you to have a chance to answer the question that I asked you.”
Trump: “I answered everything.”
But he didn’t answer everything. He didn’t answer anything.
Other than some polite chit chat and some perfunctory congratulations, there seemed to be only one purpose of Trump’s call with Zelensky, which was to encourage the Ukrainian President to continue pursuing an investigation into Joe Biden, his political rival, in his supposed involvement in an alleged corruption scheme with a Ukrainian gas company. In fact it had been made quite clear to the new President of Ukraine, that the only way he was going to have a call with Trump was if he agreed to discuss corruption, and as they all knew because Giuliani had been working on this for months, that corruption meant looking at the Bidens.
Trump also wanted Zelensky to help him dig up evidence that it had really been the Ukrainians that were responsible for hacking the DNC server and had secretly been working with the Clinton campaign, a throughly debunked conspiracy theory that doesn’t even make logical sense on its surface.
The point is, that Trump is claiming that what he’s been accused of is a lie, a witch hunt, and fake news, but he can’t offer up a simple explanation of what it was he was really after if it wasn’t a favor of a foreign power to produce damning evidence of corruption of a political rival.
And the reason Trump can’t answer the question is, because there is no other explanation.
There are simply too many other pieces of corroborating evidence, most significantly from the televised statements of Trump’s own personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani has consistently said he was acting on Trump’s behalf, as well on the behalf of the State Department, to forward the goal of getting the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens and to give credence to the story that the Mueller investigation was initiated on false grounds and should therefore have never moved forward.
The smoking gun was already produced, by the President himself. The only question is, how many other people will fall on their swords and be swept up in the investigation before Republicans abandon him in force?