Donald Trump's former senior adviser in Russia confirmed a previous statement linking the president to a counterpart with Ukraine, but blamed Rudy Giuliani and EU ambassador Gordon Sondland, claiming he was nothing & # 39; illegal & # 39; heard in Trump & # 39; s call with the Ukrainian president.
Tim Morrison, who was Trump & # 39; s best adviser on Russian and European affairs while being a member of the National Security Council, testified behind closed doors on Thursday in investigating the allegations of the Democrats.
Morrison's name was mentioned more than a dozen times when Bill Taylor gave his opening statement to legislators last week.
Taylor, the best US diplomat in Ukraine, was told that President Trump wanted to refuse US aid to Ukraine and refused a White House meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky until the Ukrainian officials agreed to investigate Joe and Hunter. Praying.
Morrison, in his opening statement, which was obtained by CBS News, Taylor & # 39; s report of a consideration confirmed – although he differed in some details.
& # 39; I can confirm that the content of his statement, as it relates to conversations he and I had, is correct, & # 39; said Morrison.
Tim Morrison, Russia's former top aid to Trump, confirmed earlier testimonies linking US military aid to Ukraine to that country that was investigating the Bidens
Morrison said that it was Rudy Giuliani (left) and EU ambassador Gordon Sondland (right) who had urged Ukrainians to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden
In his opening statement, Morrison also tells how EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who was in charge of Trump's relations with Ukraine, although not part of the European Union, insisted on a commitment from the Ukrainians to defeat the President's political enemies. investigations in exchange for the nearly $ 400 million in aid.
Morrison, a former republican executive on Capitol Hill with the reputation of being a defensive hawk, confirmed the report, even though he noticed a slight difference in some details.
He noted that in his opening statement Taylor had a conversation with him about Sondland's conversation with Andriy Yermak, a top consultant for Zelensky.
& # 39; Ambassador Taylor wrote: & # 39; Ambassador Sondland told Mr. Yermak that there would be no money for security assistance until President Zelensky undertook to continue the Burisma investigation. & # 39; I recall that Ambassador Sondland's proposal to Mr. Yermak was that it would suffice for the new Ukrainian prosecutor – not President Zelensky – to commit to the investigation into Burisma, & Morrison said.
He also clarified the location of a meeting with a Ukrainian security officer.
In his testimony, Sondland, who owned the hotel before Trump appointed him as ambassador, said that at the time he did not understand that Giuliani wanted Ukraine to investigate Trump's political rival Joe Biden.
& # 39; I only understood much later that Mr Giuliani's agenda might also include an attempt to encourage Ukrainians to investigate Vice-President Biden or his son or to involve Ukrainians directly or indirectly in the president's re-election campaign from 2020, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; I can't remember Mr. Giuliani talking to me former Vice President Biden or his son Hunter Biden, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; Let me say clearly: it would be wrong to invite a foreign government to do research to influence the upcoming US elections. Withholding foreign aid to put pressure on a foreign government to take such steps would be wrong & # 39 ;, Sondland testified.
But it was Morrison's testimony that had the interest of House Democrats, especially after Taylor last said it week that Morrison told him about a conversation he had heard between Trump and Sondland, gave him a & # 39; sinking feeling & # 39 ;.
Morrison said that during that interview, Trump said he was not looking for a consideration, but insisted that Zelensky should publicly announce that he had opened investigations into Biden and election interference in 2016, The Washington Post message about his testimony.
However, in his opening remarks, Morrison did not draw any conclusions about Trump's involvement and said that he & # 39; nothing illegal & # 39; saw or heard in the call of July 25 between Trump and Zelensky, which led to the investigation into deposition.
He did not criticize Trump in his introductory remarks.
He confirmed that he had listened to the White House Situation Room call, but he called the White House document on the call a & # 39; Memorandum of Conversation & # 39; (MemCon) and no transcript.
He said it & # 39; accurately and fully reflects the core of the call. & # 39;
There are reports that the document released by the White House during the call is incomplete.
Morrison said he had three concerns after the conversation – where Trump asked Zelensky to do us a favor & # 39; and the Bidens mentioned: & # 39; I had three concerns about a possible MemCon leak: first, how it would take place in the polarized Washington environment; secondly, how a leak would affect the two-part support that our Ukrainian partners are currently experiencing in Congress; and third, how this would affect the Ukrainian perception of the relationship between the US and Ukraine. & # 39;
He then said that he & # 39; no worries & # 39; illegal activities.
& # 39; I want to be clear, I wasn't worried that something illegal was being discussed, & # 39; he said.
President Trump has maintained that he has done nothing wrong
Tim Morrison's testimony came on the same day that the House adopted a resolution setting out the next phase of the investigation of allegations
Morrison claimed that it was Sondland and Trump & # 39; s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani who insisted on an investigation into the Bidens.
He said he didn't know what Burisma was until he googled it. Burisma is the Ukrainian gas company that Hunter Biden had on its board.
Morrison also said he first heard about the company and the role of Sondland and Giuliani in the Ukrainian policy of Fiona Hill, the NSC assistant he replaced and testified to the legislators last week.
& # 39; Then Dr. Fiona Hill and I prepared to succeed her, Ukraine was one of the areas we discussed. In that discussion, she informed me of her concern about two Ukraine trials that took place: the normal intergency process led by the NSC with the typical participation of departments and agencies and a separate process involving mainly the US ambassador to the European Union was involved, & he testified.
& # 39; Dr. Hill told me that Ambassador Sondland and President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, tried to persuade President Zelensky to reopen Ukrainian investigations into Burisma. At the time I did not know what Burisma was or what the investigation involved. After the meeting with Dr. Hill, I googled to Burisma and heard that it was a Ukrainian energy company and that Hunter Biden was on the board. I also did not understand why Ambassador Sondland would be involved in Ukrainian policy, often without the involvement of our properly appointed Head of Mission, Ambassador Bill Taylor, & he added.
Joe and Hunter Biden have not been accused of misconduct in their actions with Ukraine
Morrison is the second current White House official who testifies in the investigation of allegations. His statement comes two days after Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, an expert in Ukraine and Russia at the NSC, testified that he thought Ukraine's approach to Trump undermined US national security.
Morrison's testimony also comes as Democrats try to move the investigation of accusations to the next stage.
On Thursday, largely through a party line, Parliament approved a resolution outlining the next phase of the deposition process, with public hearings and Trump's rights during those phases.
Morrison is the last in a long line of figures to make the journey to Capitol Hill, walk in front of the cameras & disappear into the SKIF – the secure space in the basement of the Capitol, where witnesses behind closed doors testify .
He follows Taylor, Sondland and Hill. The next big witness is expected to be former national security adviser John Bolton, who is expected to appear on Thursday.
Taylor also placed Sondland in the firing line when he testified.
Morrison and Taylor spoke at least five times in the weeks following the July telephone call between Trump and Zelensky to discuss the Trump government's policy towards Ukraine, according to Taylor's testimony.
In his testimony to the legislators, he recalled a telephone conversation with Sondland where the ambassador put down the president's demands.
& # 39; During that phone call, Amb. Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelensky to publicly declare that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 elections, & Taylor said in his statement last week.
He added that Sondland told him that & # 39; everything & # 39; – meaning that US military assistance and a White House meeting – depended on Ukraine's public acceptance of the probe.
& # 39; Amb. Sondland also told me that he now realized that he had made a mistake by telling the Ukrainian officials he was talking to earlier that a White House meeting with President Zelensky depended on a public announcement of investigations – in fact Amb. Sondland said: & # 39; everything & # 39; was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance, & Taylor said.
Morrison claimed he did not know that the nearly $ 400 million in American aid was being stopped until it was told to him by his boss at the NSC.
& # 39; I was aware that the President thought that Ukraine had a corruption problem, just like many others who were familiar with Ukraine. I was also aware that the President believed that Europe did not provide enough help to Ukraine & he said.
He added that his boss, Dr. Charles Kupperman, who was summoned by lawmakers to testify and asked the courts to decide whether or not to do so, had instructed him to put together a policy process to show that the aid organization was supporting the security sector. supported to Ukraine. & # 39;
Morrison was mentioned more than a dozen times in the opening statement by Bill Taylor, the American top diplomat in Ukraine
Morrison replaced Fiona Hill in the National Security Council – she testified on Capitol Hill last week
Morrison added that the president's foreign policy advisers – including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and then national security adviser John Bolton – were able to convince President Trump to release the aid, because President Zelensky and the reform-oriented Rada had sincerely invested in their anti-investors. corruption agenda. & # 39;
He said that he and Taylor had no reason to believe that the aid was postponed until a Burisma investigation was open until September 1 interview he had with Sondland.
& # 39; Even then I was hoping that Ambassador Sondland's strategy was exclusively his and would not be considered by government and congress leaders who understood the strategic importance of Ukraine for our national security & he said .
The aid was finally released to Ukraine.
Morrison, who appeared under subpoena, also testified that he did not know the name of the whistleblower who was the first to mark the Trump and Zelensky call.
& # 39; I don't know who the whistleblower is, and I have no intention of speculating about who it is, & # 39; he said to lawmakers.
Morrison recently left his post at the White House and Democrats sought details from him about a claim that the president had linked nearly $ 400 million in US military aid to Ukraine to officials investigating Joe and Hunter Biden, along with investigating an unproven theory that it is the Ukrainians who hacked the e-mail server of the Democratic National Committee and blamed the Russians.
Trump has maintained that he has done nothing wrong.
Joe and Hunter Biden have not been accused of misconduct in their actions with Ukraine
Taylor testified last week that he was told that US military assistance to Ukraine depended on Kiev and stated that they were investigating the Bidens and the 2016 elections.
Trump wanted a public commitment from Ukraine to investigate Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company with Hunter Biden on the board, told Taylor – a Vietnam veteran and career at the Foreign Ministry – told Congress and said the president wanted that Ukraine would be put in a box. & # 39;
Trump and his allies pushed an unproven theory Joe Biden, as vice president, demanded that Ukraine remove a prosecutor for the benefit of the company.
The president also insisted on an unproven conspiracy theory that an email server from the Democratic National Committee was hacked by Ukrainians during the 2016 elections and they seemed to resemble the Russians – a story that, if true, would indicate that he the 2016 competition had won without Russian interference.
Taylor said he was told that Trump had made it clear that military aid to protect Ukraine from Russia would only be made available if Zelensky became public to investigate & # 39; investigate & # 39; to order, otherwise there was a & # 39; stalemate & # 39 ;.
Former national security adviser John Bolton will testify next week
And Taylor testified that Sondland said to another diplomat: & # 39; President Trump insisted that President Zelensky go to a microphone and said that he will open Biden investigations and election interference in 2016, and that President Zelensky would like to do this himself. & # 39;
The bomb's testimony rocked Washington D.C. and left the White House staggering – after Trump had started the day by accusing & lynching & # 39; to name.
While democratic legislators seeped out of the hearing, they called the evidence & # 39; damnation & # 39; while Republicans had little say.
Taylor also mentioned Rudy Giuliani's involvement in a & # 39; parallel & # 39; foreign policy & # 39; very irregular & # 39 ;; confirmed that John Bolton linking military aid to Ukraine to a Biden probe was a & # 39; drug deal & # 39; had mentioned; involve Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo and Mick Mulvaney in the schedule; and painted EU ambassador Gordon Sondland as part of Giuliani's plan, as well as an error-prone official safety issue and an unreliable witness – anyone who has admitted a Republican is likely to be recalled to the probe.
Taylor is willing to testify publicly when the hearings go to that stage and is considered the biggest threat to legislators by Trump.
He left his retirement to fill the top of the US post in Ukraine after Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was fired by Trump. He has no ties with the administration and no diplomatic career to worry about, given his status as a senior statesman. He has worked in administrations for both political parties.
READ THE ENTIRE DETAILED TRANSCRIPT OF THE CALL OF DONALD TRUMP WITH THE VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY OF UKRAINE
Spelling in this transcript is per the White House
Declassified by decision of the president on September 24, 2019
MEMORANDUM OF TELEPHONE CONVERSATION
TITLE: Telephone conversation with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine
PARTICIPANTS: President Zelenskyy of Ukraine
Notetakers: The White House Situation Room
DATE, TIME AND PLACE: July 25, 2019, 9:03 AM – 9:33 AM EDT Residence
The president: congratulations on a big win. We all looked from the United States and you did a great job. The way you came from behind, someone who didn't get much chance, and who eventually won you easily. It is a fantastic achievement. Congratulations.
President Zelenskyy: You are absolutely right, Mr President. We have won a lot and have worked hard on this. We have worked a lot, but I want to confess that I have had the opportunity to learn from you. We have used quite a bit of your skills and knowledge and have been able to use it as an example for our elections – and yes, it was true that these were unique elections. We found ourselves in a unique situation where we could achieve a unique success. I can tell you the following; the first time you called me to congratulate me when I won my presidential election, and the second time you call me when my party won the parliamentary election. I think I have to run more often, so you can call me more often and we can talk over the phone more often.
The President: (laughter) That's a very good idea. I think your country is very happy with that.
President Zelenskyy: Well, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to remove the swamp here in our country. We have brought in many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want a new format and a new type of government. You are a great teacher for us and in it.
The President: Well, it's very nice of you to say that. I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than European countries do and they should help you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it's something you really should ask them about. When I spoke to Angela Merkel, she talks about Ukraine, but she doesn't do anything. Many of the European countries are the same way, so I think it's something you want to look at, but the United States has been very good for Ukraine. I would not say that it is necessarily reciprocal because things are happening that are not good, but the United States has been very good for Ukraine.
President Zelenskyy: Yes, you are absolutely right. Not only 100%, but actually 1000% and I can tell you the following; I spoke to Angela Merkel and I met her. I also met and spoke with Macron and I said that they do not do as much as they should about the problems with the sanctions. They do not enforce the sanctions. They don't work as much as they should work for Ukraine. It seems that, although logically speaking, the European Union should be our biggest partner, but technically the United States is a much larger partner than the European Union and I am very grateful to you for that, because the United States is doing a lot for it Ukraine. Much more than the European Union, especially when we talk about sanctions against the Russian Federation. I also want to thank you for your great support in the field of defense. We are ready to continue working on the following steps. specifically, we are almost ready to purchase more javelin throw from the United States for defense purposes.
The President: I would like you to do us a favor, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I want you to find out what happened to this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I think you have one of your rich people … The server, they say that Ukraine has it. There are a lot. of things that happened, the whole situation. I think you surround yourself with some of the same people. I would like the Attorney General to call you or your people and I would like you to unpack it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very bad performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent version, but they say that a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it is very important that you do it when possible.
President Zelenskyy: Yes, it is very important to me and everything that you have just mentioned. For me as president, it is very important and we are open to future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page about cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose I have just recalled our ambassador from the United States and he will be replaced by a highly competent and experienced ambassador who will work hard to ensure that our two nations come closer. I would also like to see him have your trust and your trust and have personal relationships with you so that we can work together even more. I will tell you personally that one of my assistants has recently spoken with Mr Giuliani and we very much hope that Mr Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet when he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to reassure you that you have no one but friends around us. I will ensure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are good friends and you, Mr President, have friends in our country so that we can continue our strategic partnership. I also intend to surround myself with wonderful people and, in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as President of Ukraine that all investigations will be conducted openly and frankly. I can assure you of that.
The president: good, because I heard that you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was closed and that is really unfair. Many people talk about that, the way they closed your very good public prosecutor and you had some really bad people. Mr. Giuliani is a very respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I'd like him to call you. I will ask him to call you together with the Attorney General. Rudy knows very well what is happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could talk to him, that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in Ukraine were bad news, so I want you to know. The other thing, there is much talk about Biden's son, that Biden has stopped the persecution and many people want to know about it, so anything you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden bragged that he stopped the persecution, so if you can look at it … It sounds terrible to me.
President Zelenskyy: I wanted to tell you about the public prosecutor. First of all, I understand and I am well informed about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next public prosecutor will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved by parliament and will start as a new public prosecutor in September. He or she will investigate the situation, in particular the company you mentioned in this publication. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the question of ensuring that fairness is restored so that we ensure it and work on the investigation of the matter. Moreover, I would like to ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to ensure that we exercise justice in our country with regard to the US ambassador from Ukraine as far as I remember her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first. who told me she was a bad ambassador because I agree 100% with you. Her attitude towards me was far from the best because she admired the previous president and she stood by his side. She would not accept me well enough as a new president.
The President: Well, she's going onh some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani call you and I will also have Attorney General Barr call you and we will sort it out to the bottom. I'm sure you'll find out. I heard that the public prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very honest public prosecutor so good luck with everything. Your economy is getting better and I predict better. You have many assets. It is a great country. I have many Ukrainian friends, their incredible people.
President Zelenskyy: I would like to tell you that I also have quite a few Ukrainian friends who live in the United States. The last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York at Central Park and I stayed in the Trump Tower. I will talk to them and hope to see them again in the future. I also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, especially Washington DC. On the other hand, I also wanted to assure you that we take the matter very seriously and will work on the investigation. As for the economy, there is a lot of potential for our two countries and one of the problems. that is very important for Ukraine is energy independence. I believe that we can be very successful and work together on energy independence with the United States. We are already working on collaboration. We buy American oil, but I am very hopeful for a future meeting. We have more time and more opportunities to discuss these opportunities and get to know each other better. I want to thank you very much for your support.
The president: good. Well, thank you very much and I appreciate that. I will tell Rudy and Attorney General Barr to call. Thank you. If you want to come to the White House, please call. Give us a date and we will work that. from. I look forward to seeing you.
President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much. I would love to come and meet you personally and get to know you better. I look forward to our meeting and would also like to invite you to visit Ukraine and come to the city of Kiev, a beautiful city. We have a beautiful country that would welcome you. On the other hand, I believe that we will be in Poland on 1 September and that we can hopefully meet in Poland. After that, it might be a very good idea to travel to Ukraine. We can take my plane and go to Ukraine, or we can take your plane, which is probably much better than mine.
The President: Okay, we can solve that. I look forward to seeing you in Washington and maybe in Poland, because I think we will be there at that time.
President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much, Mr President.
The president: congratulations on your fantastic work. The whole world watched. I'm not sure if it was so upset, but congratulations.
President Zelenskyy: Thank you Mr. President, goodbye.
. (tagsToTranslate) dailymail (t) news (t) Ukraine (t) Donald Trump (t) Russia