Appearing Saturday on CNN, Obama-era U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power accused President Donald Trump of “blatantly extorting” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during their July telephone call in which they discussed U.S. military aid and Hunter Biden’s business dealings in the eastern European country. Power’s charge and those similar were vehemently denied this week by both Trump and Ukraine’s leader.
A partial transcript is as follows:
ANA CABRERA: I have to ask you about the fallout from [President Trump’s] call with the Ukrainian president. You tweeted this: “That Donald Trump thought it was a good idea to release this transcript is a staggering testament to the endemic corruption of his administration. He and his close advisers have lost the ability to even see what’s incriminating.” Ambassador, that’s quite the statement.
FORMER AMB. SAMANTHA POWER: I think what we have seen from the beginning of this presidency is a pattern where what matters most to the president of the United States is his own welfare, his own self-aggrandizement, his own wealth, his own political fortune. And there are so many examples of this, but here is an example where the president is blatantly extorting a foreign leader, a foreign leader who is governing a country that has been invaded by Russia, a country that interfered in our election previously, and our president is trying to advance his own political welfare rather than look out for an ally and deliver what that country needs in order to enhance its security. The fact that people put that transcript out and thought it would be somehow helpful for the president I think just speaks to how accustomed the people around President Trump have become to this pattern of behavior.