But then I read Zelensky's interview with a group of global journalists, including a reporter from Time magazine, and it quickly became obvious that the Ukrainian president did not say what Trump claimed he said.
The president claimed that the interview should mean the case for impeachment was "over" and that Zelensky had said he "did absolutely nothing wrong".
Trump is now the subject of an impeachment inquiry by House Democrats over allegations the president withheld military aid to Ukraine to pressure the country to launch a pair of politically advantageous investigations.
"Look I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo", Zelenskiy said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a new interview to media outlets, and President Donald Trump is using it to declare innocence amid the impeachment inquiry.
Ukraine is acutely aware it relies on bipartisan support as well as military aid from Washington as Kiev battles Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donbass region in a conflict that has killed more than 13,000 people.
Manafort, a long-time Republican political consultant who is now serving a prison sentence after being convicted of fraud and witness tampering, had worked in Ukraine for a previous Russia-friendly president, Viktor Yanukovich. Can you clarify this issue of the quid pro quo?
Zelensky appeared to call out the USA and Republicans for peddling conspiracy theories about Ukraine and 2016 election. But then he got into how Trump and other US officials had been publicly labeling Ukraine a "corrupt country" and the difficulties that this causes with global investors and businesses. I think that's just about fairness.
Zelensky is also bothered by the constant portrayal of Ukraine as a corrupt nation. But you have to understand. "We're at war. If you're our strategic partner, then you can't go blocking anything for us", he was quoted by Time magazine as saying. Politics is not an exact science.
"When America says...that Ukraine is a corrupt country, that is the hardest of signals", Zelensky said. "I had the sense that he heard me", he said.
He says he wants the U.S.to understand that Ukraine is now a "different country". "Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have worldwide capital in Ukraine, it's a signal to them that says, 'Be careful, don't invest.' Or, 'Get out of there'". They do. All branches of government were corrupted over many years, and we are working to clean that up.
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