When asked by ABC News Chief National Affairs Correspondent Tom Llamas about whether he thought it was corrupt for a foreign government to be asked to probe a political rival, Zelenskiy said he has broken no laws and is not corrupt, and that he will not judge Trump or his actions.
Zelensky told the AP he was simply hoping that the call with Trump would lead to a visit by Trump to Ukraine, and that he was hoping to persuade Trump to change the White House's rhetoric regarding Ukraine. He said he "didn't even check" whether the Ukrainian transcript of the July call is the same as that of the White House, but says "I think they match".
A transcript of the phone call was released to the public after an anonymous whistleblower alleged that Trump had sought Ukraine's help in settling political scores back home.
On Thursday, President Trump held his first rally since an impeachment inquiry was launched against him two weeks ago, and he spent time targeting lawmakers like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) while also telling supporters he's locked in a battle with "the swamp".
During a day-long media event at a food court in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky continued to try to shove considerable distance between himself and the political scandal now engulfing President Trump.
"I don't want to be pulled into this because I understand that my words could impact the elections of the American people", he added.
While responding to Trump's requests, Zelenskiy insisted he was not his puppet, and he appeared to be trying to put an end to questions that have dogged the new Ukrainian president since details of his July 25 call with Trump emerged.
Trump later said the military aid was frozen because of concerns about corruption in Ukraine, but the move prompted congressional outcry and the money was released in September. Zelensky said they used their diplomatic options, but did not elaborate.
For the past several months, the Trump White House has pushed the authorities in Kyiv to investigate Burisma Group, a big gas-production company, and the role there of Hunter Biden, who served on its board, along with actions of Mr. Biden when he was overseeing USA policy toward Ukraine. "We have many criminal cases to look at".
He added that there were no "conditions" from the United States side to set up the meeting.
During a telephone call on July 25, Trump repeatedly encouraged Zelenskiy to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter.
A TV and film comedian, Zelenskiy overwhelmingly won the presidency in April on promises to fight corruption and end the five-year conflict with Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Zelenskiy also joked about Trump's Twitter missives, saying he doesn't expect a change in US-Ukrainian relations in the future, 'but if there is, we'll learn about it on Twitter'.