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Tipsheet

Ukraine Foreign Minister Upends Quid Pro Quo Allegations in CNN Interview

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Rudy Giuliani's former associate Lev Parnas recently claimed to have personal knowledge that Trump had tried to coerce Ukraine into investigating Joe and Hunter Biden for his own political benefits by threatening to withhold military aid. It jumpstarted the impeachment inquiry against Trump, which is now officially in the Senate trial stage.

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko doesn't buy any of it. 

"I never spoke with this individual," Prystaiko told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Friday. "And, again, frankly, I don't trust any word he is now saying."

President Trump or Vice President Mike Pence had planned to be at Ukrainian President Zelensky's inauguration. But it didn't happen. Parnas suggested that was another one of the consequences of Zelensky's refusal to investigate the Bidens. Prystaiko pushed back and explained that part of the blame for the inauguration can be on the side of the Ukrainians. 

"Some of the blame can be on our side," Prystaiko said. "Because we had to do it in very fast way. President Zelensky wanted to leave the Parliament free from his new presidency. And we had just a couple of days to make it legal. We had limited ourselves to time. We gave quite a short notice."

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So Energy Secretary Rick Perry came and represented the U.S. instead.

"It was not a big deal for us," Prystaiko said, adding that Perry's presence was "a good representation."

No quid pro quo, he added, was "ever mentioned in any of those conversations."

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