Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a new interview that he did not view his conversations with President Donald Trump in the context of a "quid pro quo," but he blasted the U.S.at the same time for tossing his country around "as part of some bargain".
I was all set to explain, once again, that Zelensky's assessments of Trump's misdeeds aren't altogether relevant to the impeachment inquiry. "He just came out a little while ago and said President Trump did nothing wrong and that should end everything, but it will never end it because they want to do what they want to do".More news: Dwayne Wade Addresses Folks Hating On His Son's Nail Tips
In an interview with Time magazine and three European news outlets published on December 2, Zelensky was asked to "clarify this issue of the quid pro quo".
Ukraine has been fighting Russia-backed separatists in the country's eastern region since 2014, and in the same year Russian Federation annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine by force.
Manafort, a long-time Republican political consultant who is now serving a prison sentence after being convicted of fraud and witness tampering, had worked in Ukraine for a previous Russia-friendly president, Viktor Yanukovich. Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have worldwide capital in Ukraine, it's a signal to them that says, 'Be careful, don't invest.' Or, 'Get out of there'. But then he got into how Trump and other USA officials had been publicly labeling Ukraine a "corrupt country" and the difficulties that this causes with global investors and businesses.
"Everyone hears that signal", he said.More news: Vet rape-murder case accused should be lynched: Jaya Bachchan
In the same interview, the Ukrainian president also took aim at Trump's rhetoric about Ukrainian "corruption" - Zelensky believes Trump's claims undermined Ukraine in the eyes of global observers and investors - before concluding, "I don't trust anyone at all". It's not that those things don't exist.
Back in early October, Zelensky told reporters, "There was no pressure or blackmail from the U.S". "For me it's very important for the United States, with all they can do for us, for them really to understand that we are a different country, that we are different people".
"All branches of government were corrupted over many years", he said. "These are important things, very important things, especially right now, when we are in such a hard position".
Trump has denied wrongdoing throughout the impeachment inquiry.More news: Prince Harry And Meghan Markle To Miss Donald Trump’s Buckingham Palace Visit
Giuliani and other Trump allies say Ukrainians forged a record of millions of dollars in payments - known as the "black ledger" - to Manafort from Yanukovich's associates. "Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have worldwide capital in Ukraine, it's a signal to them that says, 'Be careful, don't invest.' Or, 'Get out of there'".