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Trump on Ukraine: 'I want nothing'

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on November 20, 2019 - Duration: 02:12s

Trump on Ukraine: 'I want nothing'

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday read a segment of a witness's impeachment testimony to push back on the assertion he sought a 'quid pro quo' from the Ukrainian government.

Zachary Goelman reports.

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Trump on Ukraine: 'I want nothing'

As a U.S. ambassador appointed by President Donald Trump attested that he worked to arrange a quid-pro-quo with Ukraine at the heart of an impeachment inquiry, Trump on Wednesday emerged from the White House clutching a copy of the ambassador's testimony and handwritten notes in black pen to read a section in his own defense.

(UPSOUND) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I want nothing.

I want nothing.

I want no quid-pro-quo." (FLASH) (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION GORDON SONDLAND SAYING: "Mr. Giuliani's request were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelensky." Trump appointee Gordon Sondland told lawmakers Wednesday under oath he worked with Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to get Ukraine's president to publicly commit to open investigations into one of Trump's political rivals.

Democratic lawmakers leading the impeachment probe say the testimony is proof that Trump abused his office for personal gain.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN ADAM SCHIFF SAYING: "I think today's testimony is among the most significant evidence to date." Democratic House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff called Sondland's testimony evidence of bribery, a crime listed as an impeachable office in the U.S. constitution.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN ADAM SCHIFF SAYING: "It goes right to the heart of the issue of bribery, as well as other potential high crimes and misdemeanors." Last month referred to Sondland on Twitter as "a really good man and great American." But in more recent days as the impeachment process gained momentum Trump tried to distance himself from Sondland in the past (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I hardly know the gentleman." But Gordan Sondland recalled several occasions when he spoke directly to Trump about Ukraine.

On one of those calls, Sondland relayed Trump saying he sought no quid pro quo.

And that's the account Trump touted when he spoke to reporters Wednesday.

(UPSOUND) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "Tell Zelensky, President Zelensky, to the right thing.

So here's my answer: I want nothing.

I want nothing.

I want no quid pro quo." Despite Trump's pushback over this call, Sondland made clear in his testimony he believed the Ukraine investigations were a condition for a White House meeting with Ukraine's president, as well as for the release of U.S. military aid, though he never heard that directly from the president.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and called the impeachment proceedings a sham.

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