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World

AFP
September 22, 2019

Trump, Biden spar over Ukraine after whistleblower complaint

World

AFP
Sun, Sep 22, 2019

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump and his top challenger in the 2020 election Joe Biden traded accusations on Saturday following reports of a whistleblower´s claim alleging the president pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden´s son.

On Friday, The Washington Post reported that a whistleblower complaint had been filed over Trump´s communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and a "promise" allegedly made by the US leader.

Trump allegedly pressured Zelensky to investigate a son of Biden, a former Democratic vice president who is seeking to challenge Trump in the 2020 election.

Biden is leading Trump, a Republican, in most polls.

"This appears to be an overwhelming abuse of power, to get on the phone with a foreign leader who is looking for help from the United States and ask about me," Biden told reporters on the campaign trail in the state of Iowa.

"I know what I´m up against, a serial abuser. That´s what this guy is," Biden continued. "If he sees any threat to his staying in power, he´ll do whatever he has to do. But this crosses the line."

Biden had on Friday demanded Trump immediately release the transcript of a July 25 call with Zelensky while saying reports that Trump sought to coerce his Ukrainian counterpart, if true, amounted to "clear-cut corruption."

Trump slammed the allegations as "ridiculous," and on Saturday accused Biden on Twitter of having demanded, during his time as vice president, "that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son."

He also accused news outlets of fabricating "a story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of the Ukraine. Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden´s demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster."

Hunter Biden, Joe Biden´s second son, worked for a Ukrainian gas group from 2014, when his father was vice president during Barack Obama´s administration.

"I´ve never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings," Biden said on Saturday. "Everybody looked at this and everybody looked at it and said there´s nothing there."

Later on Saturday, Trump posted a video montage of media reports, which includes a clip of Biden saying he´d asked that the prosecutor be dismissed.

Biden has said the call had nothing to do with his son.