White House Russia expert defends Trump-Ukraine call: Nothing ‘illegal’

Tim Morrison, the outgoing top White House Russia expert, testified behind closed doors that he doesn’t believe anything illegal was discussed during President Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to a copy of his prepared remarks.

“I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed,” Morrison said in the remarks.

Trump’s GOP allies in Congress quickly framed Morrison’s testimony as evidence that there was no quid pro quo surrounding Trump’s interactions with Ukrainian leaders, while Democrats argued that his testimony only underscored their concerns about the call.

“I don’t think you’ll get any opening statements leaked from the Democrats today,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who characterized Morrison’s remarks as “very damaging to the Democrats’ narrative.”

Democrats maintained that Morrison, by corroborating key elements of previous testimony heard by investigators, only further validated the initial allegations that Trump pressured a foreign government to provide a “favor” that could benefit him politically at home.

Article URL : https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/468364-ex-white-house-russia-expert-defends-trump-ukraine-call-nothing

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