George Stephanopolous on Sunday pressed Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) about whether or not it's appropriate for President Donald Trump to urge other countries to investigate corruption. Specifically, Stephanopolous was referencing President Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During the call, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate the Bidens. While Vice President Joe Biden was handling international relations relating to Ukraine on behalf of the Obama administration, his son, Hunter, was being paid $50,000 by a Ukrainian gas company. The kicker: Hunter had no experience in natural energy. Democrats have run with the idea that Trump threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine if Zelensky declined to investigate.
According to Jordan, President Trump wants to make sure Americans' money, that's being sent overseas, is being sent to a country that is not engaging in corrupt behavior.
“I think when the president is — and this is why it relates to Ukraine – I think when the president is trying to make sure that there is not corruption, that if we’re going to be sending the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people to Ukraine to help them fight Russia, to help them get their country moving in the direction that they need, to get the security assistance they need, I think he believes that we should make sure there’s not corruption there," Jordan said.
Jordan reminded Stephanopolous of one important tidbit: Kurt Volker, the former Special Envoy to Ukraine, on Thursday testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee for nine hours. During that testimony, he said Hunter Biden was hired by Burisma, a company that has a longstanding history of corruption.
"I think the president, when he’s trying to decide how American tax dollars are going to be spent, and what countries they’re actually going to go to, it’s his job to make sure there’s not corruption," he explained. "So when the vice president’s son is hired by this company, that Mr. Volker told us had a long history of corruption, was leaked to the government in Ukraine, I think that’s the president doing his job.”
Stephanopolous, however, attempted to focus on the fact that Biden is one of Trump's opponents for president.
“So you think it was appropriate for the president to ask Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Do you know of any other instances where the president has called on foreign leaders to investigate corruption did that did not involve one of his political rivals?” the host asked.
“George, we heard from the ambassador for hours this Thursday. And the ambassador told us there was no quid pro quo, there was no linkage between any type of security assistance money and any type of investigation. The ambassador was clear. We have the transcript where there is no — even Democratic chairman [Schiff] said after reading the transcript – even though before they got the transcript they said there was going to be a quid pro quo in there, after reading it they said there is not a quid pro quo," Jordan slapped back.
"And the two individuals on the call, the two people on the call who know it best, President Trump and President Zelensky, said there was no pressure, no pushing, none of that," he reiterated. "It was done in a professional manner. That’s what Ambassador Volker told us.”