President Donald Trump said it was necessary to investigate the links between Ukraine and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Obama administration.
The remarks came after Ukrainian officials told The Hill that a January 2016 meeting between some of Ukraine’s top corruption investigators and members of Obama’s National Security Council, the FBI, State Department, and the Department of Justice featured Americans trying to divert investigators from investigating the links between then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son and Ukraine.
They also tried to find proof of the crimes committed by Paul Manafort, a Republican operative, who was later prosecuted.
Ukrainian law enforcement officials said earlier this month that they had a lot of evidence of Democrat collusion and wrongdoing and tried to share that information with U.S. Justice officials, according to Fox News. Recently, a Ukrainian court ruled that the leak by Manafort was illegal interference in the U.S. election.
When Fox News’s Sean Hannity asked about the story on April 25, Trump replied: “It sounds like big stuff. It sounds very interesting with Ukraine. … I’m not surprised.”
Hannity asked if the United States should see information about Ukraine that would have helped Clinton’s administration campaign, and Trump said yes.
“I think we do. And, frankly, we have a great new attorney general who has done an unbelievable job in a very short period of time. And he is very smart and tough and I would certainly defer to him. I would imagine he would want to see this,” he said.
“People have been saying this whole—the concept of Ukraine, they have been talking about it actually for a long time. You know that, and I would certainly defer to the attorney general. And we’ll see what he says about it. He calls them straight. That’s one thing I can tell you,” Trump continued.
In these comments, Trump echoed Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, who wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, “Keep your eye on Ukraine.”
A Politico 2017 investigation has shown that Ukrainian officials not only tried publicly to undermine Trump by calling his office fitness into question, but also worked behind the scenes to ensure a victory for Clinton.
Politico found among other efforts that the Ukrainian government worked with a DNC consultant to conduct opposition research against Trump, including Manafort’s resignation for Russian ties.
Trump also noted that he talked to the newly elected president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
“I just spoke to the new president a little while ago, two days ago, and congratulated him on an incredible race,” he told Hannity. “Incredible run. A big surprise victory. That’s 75 percent of the vote.”