Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that despite not knowing whether any Ukrainians interfered in the 2016 US elections, the country will "happily" investigate the matter.
Trump asked Zelenskiy during the call to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, and Congressional Democrats believe Trump was holding up the aid to use as leverage to pressure Ukraine.
At the time, the officials were unnerved by the removal in May of the USA ambassador to Ukraine, by subsequent efforts by Trump's lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to promote Ukraine-related conspiracies, as well as by signals in meetings at the White House that Trump wanted the new government in Kiev to deliver material that might be politically damaging to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Mr. Zelensky - tieless in a dark grey suit - said he would be willing to open a "joint investigation" into Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that in 2014 hired Hunter Biden onto its board of directors. It also appears that the concerns that these White House officials have were related to the efforts of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani to chase down support for a freaky conspiracy regarding the 2016 Presidential election that claims the Clinton campaign and Ukraine were actually the guilty parties rather than the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. "I said that we are not corrupt [regarding the Burisma investigation], that we are open to investigating all cases, and we we'll do it according to the law".
"There was no blackmail".
Zelensky said it benefits Ukraine to definitively answer the question of whether interference in the US election came from Ukraine, and the only way he can say "yes or no" to whether it happened is to investigate.
"I don't want to interfere in USA elections", Zelensky said.
Zelenskiy said the USA has not provided any details of such interference.
Dressed in a suit and no tie, switching between Ukrainian, Russian and sometimes English, Mr Zelenskiy's news conference ended just after midnight (2100 GMT) and was occasionally interrupted by protesters shouting from the floor below.
Russian Federation invaded and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 and has been accused by Kyiv and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation of backing armed separatists in Ukraine's east, where more than 13,000 people have died from the conflict since April 2014.
Zelenskiy is giving an all-day "press marathon" amid growing questions about his actions as president.
Asked what Ukraine did to persuade the U.S.to release the aid, Zelenskiy said: "We have many diplomatic contacts".
Trump also has pushed a long-discredited theory about Ukrainian interference in support of the Democrats in 2016, an attempt to cast doubt on Russia's role in the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee. "But it has to be confirmed". Because there is really much information on this out there.