Not everyone thinks President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July was such a big deal.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko has denied that Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, over his ties to a Ukrainian natural gas firm that was being investigated for corruption. "I know what the conversation was about, and I think there was no pressure," Prystaiko said during an interview with Ukrainian television station Hromadske that aired Saturday. "There was talk, conversations are different, leaders have the right to discuss any problems that exist. This conversation was long, friendly, and it touched on many questions, sometimes requiring serious answers." Prystaiko added that Ukraine is an independent state with its "own secrets."
Still, others are more concerned about the affects the story could have on the country, The Washington Post reports. "It's a diplomatic disaster for our relations with the United States," said Alyona Getmanchuk, the director of the New Europe Center, a Kiev-based foreign policy think tank. A senior European diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Post that things "really couldn't get worse for Kiev," while a former Ukrainian policymaker, whom the Post described as "normally gregarious," declined to comment to avoid doing "even more harm to Ukraine." Read more at The Washington Post.Tim O'Donnell
The General Services Administration has decided there is no conflict in President Trump's hotel lease from the government, the federal agency announced in a letter released Thursday.
The GSA signed off on the deal after Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., and lawyers changed the lease so revenue from the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., will stay with the hotel and not go to the president's personal trust company. While Trump turned over operation of the business to his adult sons, he still owns more than three-quarters of the project and his share of the revenues will be moved to a corporation set up for his ownership stake, the Los Angeles Times reports. "This doesn't make any sense to me, and it seems like GSA has leaned over backwards to accommodate the president here," Fred Wertheimer, president of the Democracy21 advocacy group, told the Times. "This is one more example of why President Trump should have divested his assets into a blind trust." Catherine Garcia