Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) denied on Sunday morning that President Donald Trump ever asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, contradicting President Donald Trump’s own words.
During an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, host Dana Bash immediately noted that the central charge of the impeachment inquiry against Trump is that “the president asked a leader of a foreign country to investigate his political rival.”
“So, one simple question to start, is that appropriate?” Bashed wondered aloud.
“Well, one, he didn't do that,” the North Carolina lawmaker replied. “I don't agree with your premise. He talked about investigations. If you look at the—the transcript, I think he said, will you do us a favor, based on the United States going through a lot, talking about 2016 elections.”
Bash, however, reminded Meadows that per the rough transcript of the now-infamous July 25 phone between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump specifically mentioned Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, saying “a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.”
“He did ask,” Bash added. “You admit that, right?”
Meadows answered the CNN host with a question of his own, asking her if she was “suggesting that someone who runs for president shouldn’t be investigated,” adding that the Democrats “have been investigating President Trump before he was elected.”
“I mean, listen, it’s appropriate to make sure that nothing was done wrong in Ukraine,” the congressman continued. “And, indeed, that’s what he was talking about.”
Later in the segment, after Meadows continued to insist this was really about rooting out Hunter Biden’s corrupt activities in Ukraine, Bash pressed him on Republicans’ lack of interest in that issue when they controlled Congress.
“Well, one, I didn't—I didn't know about it at the particular time,” Meadows answered. “And when—when you look at things, as things come up, you would.”
“But it was public information,” Bash countered.
Following the interview and after he received some ridicule over his denial of Trump’s actual words, Meadows took to Twitter to push back and defend the president.
“Questions like this make the false assumption that @realDonaldTrump had political motives. That’s not accurate. It’s not supported by the evidence,” he tweeted. “This was about making sure we weren’t sending taxpayer funded aid to a corrupt nation. Exactly what POTUS promised to do.”