Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy again affirmed he did not discuss with President Donald Trump about a “quid pro quo” involving the withholding of military aid to Ukraine from the United States, which is at the center of the House impeachment inquiry against the president.
In an interview with Time.com published on Monday, Dec. 2, Zelenskiy said, “I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo. That’s not my thing.”
Zelenskiy was answering the question, “When did you first sense that there was a connection between Trump’s decision to block military aid to Ukraine this summer and the two investigations that Trump and his allies were asking for? Can you clarify this issue of the quid pro quo?”
“I don’t want us to look like beggars,” he continued. “But you have to understand. We’re at war. If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us.”
“I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo. It just goes without saying,” he added.
This is not the first time Zelenskiy denied the accusation of wrongdoing regarding a phone call between him and President Trump. In October, the Ukrainian president also affirmed “there was no blackmail” in their July phone call, and there were no “conditions” from the American side.
However, House Democrats are seeking to make the case that President Trump held up military aid to use as leverage to pressure Ukraine for personal and political interests, such as coercing Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden, but the president denied all the allegations.
In a tweet on Monday morning, President Trump cited the report about Zelenskiy’s reaffirmation to criticize the House Democrats, saying, “It would be case over.”
“Breaking News: The President of Ukraine has just again announced that President Trump has done nothing wrong with respect to Ukraine and our interactions or calls. If the Radical Left Democrats were sane, which they are not, it would be case over!” he tweeted.