Speed Reads

Trump tweets

Trump insists he was asking Ukraine's Zelensky for a 'favor' on behalf of America, not himself

President Trump argued Wednesday night that in his infamous July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky, he was trying to help the United States — not himself or his re-election campaign — by requesting investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and a debunked Kremlin-linked conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 presidential election, not Russia. After all, Trump noted in his tweet, he asked Zelensky to "do us a favor though" after Zelensky brought up U.S. military aid, not "do me a favor."

The July 25 phone call — or at least a whistleblower complaint that referenced it — sparked the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry. But Democrats pretty quickly started uncovering evidence of a longer, wider-ranging plot involving Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani — whom Trump also mentioned in the call — to exert various forms of pressure on Ukraine, including withholding nearly $400 million in military, to force the Zelenksy government to announce an investigation into Biden. For America, apparently.