White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Thursday defended President Donald Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president, saying, “it was a congratulatory call, corruption came up.”
Kudlow, in an interview with CNBC, said that he’s read the call summary released by the White House over a dozen times and couldn’t see “anything remotely that would constitute some kind of impeachable offense.”
He added, “Look, it was a congratulatory call, corruption came up.”
In the July phone call, Trump congratulated the then-recently elected President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his victory before moving on to urge the president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
“I think President Trump was saying, why don’t you help clean up the last, 2016, 2015, 2014, I don’t think the president was aiming at 2020,” Kudlow told CNBC on Thursday.
“For three years or so, President Trump has said Europe must help the United States with respect to NATO and other related military assistance. So what the president was doing, and it’s clear in that transcript, is he’s saying: ‘I want to go back, protect taxpayers, and then let’s see if we can get your assistance going,’ which is ultimately what happened.”
He added that he can’t comment on what role the president’s personal attorney, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, played in the phone call or in pushing Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
“I don’t want to explain it. I’m not acquainted with all these machinations. It’s out of my lane and probably above my paygrade,” Kudlow said.
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