U.S. President Donald Trump directly acknowledged on Sunday that he spoke with the president of Ukraine about an investigation into political opponent Joe Biden, but called the talk appropriate.
According to USA Today, speaking with reporters en route to a trip to Texas and Ohio, Trump said: "The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, was largely corruption – all of the corruption taking place – it was 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."
Trump echoed his defense of the Ukraine call during a stop in Houston, and said his team may put out a transcript. "We'll make a determination about how to release it," he said, calling it "an absolutely perfect conversation."
At the White House, Trump said he would have "no problem" if his attorney Rudy Giuliani testified before Congress about Ukraine and Biden.
Members of Congress earlier called for more details on a complaint by a whistleblower who said that, in a July phone call, Trump pressured Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to have his government investigate Biden and his son.
According to POLITICO, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) recounted a recent meeting with Zelensky in which he characterized the Ukrainian leader as very attuned to Giuliani's demands and Trump's handling of Ukraine's military aid.
"I told him it was best to ignore requests from Trump's campaign operatives. He agreed," Murphy said on Twitter. "I don't know what is in the whistleblower complaint," he continued, "but it was clear to me that Ukraine officials were worried about the consequences of ignoring Giuliani's demands. And of course they were. That's why presidents shouldn't have their campaigns talking to foreign leaders."
At the same time, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko, who claims to have heard two telephone conversations between the leaders of the United States and Ukraine, assured in an exclusive interview with Ukraine's portal hromadske that Trump had not put pressure on Zelensky.
Three House committees have launched a "large-scale investigation" into possible attempts by President Trump and his attorney Giuliani to pressure Ukraine's government to investigate a 2020 election rival.