State Department official says Trump wanted Zelensky to mention 'Clinton' in investigation announcement

Brendan Morrow

A State Department official suggested to Congress that President Trump wanted Ukraine's president to mention former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while announcing the opening of the investigations he wanted.

A transcript of the testimony of Europe adviser George Kent was released Thursday. In it, Kent discusses how U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland "was pushing" to have Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky give a television interview in which he would announce a "willingness to pursue investigations" involving Burisma, the gas company where former Vice President Joe Biden's son served on the board, and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.

Kent also testifies that he heard that, based on Sondland's discussions with Trump, it appeared Trump "wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to [a] microphone and say investigations, Biden, and Clinton."

The House of Representatives is investigating whether Trump withheld aid to Ukraine in return for its president pursuing investigations that might damage his political opponents. Kent at another point in his testimony again suggests Trump wanted Zelensky to mention both Biden and Clinton, saying, "Zelensky needed to go to a microphone and basically there needed to be three words in the message."

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