White House releases record of friendly first Zelensky call


In this file photo taken on November 20, 2016 President-elect Donald Trump meets with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani at the clubhouse of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. (File photo: VCG)

President Donald Trump on Friday sought to bolster his case that he did nothing wrong in Ukraine by releasing the reconstruction of a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which they exchanged little more than pleasantries.

The growing impeachment case against Trump revolves around a later phone call in which the US president asks Zelensky for a "favor" by opening a corruption investigation allegedly aimed at embarrassing his possible 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Unlike that controversial discussion, which took place July 25, the newly released call, held three months earlier, contains no mention of the Biden family.

Instead, Trump congratulates the just elected Ukrainian president, who in turn tries to persuade his US counterpart to attend the upcoming inauguration.

Trump dangles out the possibility of a later Zelensky visit to the White House and says how much he admires Ukraine, referring to when he owned the Miss Universe franchise.

"When I owned Miss Universe, they always had great people," he said.

Although Trump called the April 21 phone log a "transcript," it is not a verbatim transcription made from a recording, but a reconstruction based on notes taken by staff in the room.