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AP Exclusive: US officials told of Ukraine's Trump anxiety

Posted at 9:34 AM, Nov 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-18 10:34:37-05

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials were told that Ukraine's leader was feeling pressure from the Trump administration to investigate Democrats, even before his summer phone call with President Donald Trump, two people with knowledge of the briefings tell The Associated Press.

The people say that at least three U.S. officials were briefed on Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's worries before his July 25 phone call with Trump that has led to House impeachment hearings in Washington. The people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.

The Ukrainian leader later denied feeling pressure in a joint news conference with Trump in September.

Congressional Republicans point to that later public statement to defend Trump. They say if Ukraine's leader felt no pressure to investigate Joe Biden, the allegations against Trump are misplaced.