Ukraine president: 'No blackmail' in conversation with Trump

The revelation of the discussions with National Security Council legal adviser John Eisenberg establish that U.S. officials had delivered notable warnings through official White House channels even before Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that set off a whistleblower complaint.

The US House of Representatives is conducting an impeachment inquiry into Trump over alleged abuse of power during the July 25 call in which he asked Zelensky to conduct a probe of potential 2020 White House rival Joe Biden and his son, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday that there was "no blackmail" involved in the call he had with Trump.

"Within minutes", administration officials told the Post, "senior officials including national security adviser John Bolton were being pinged by subordinates about problems with what the president had said to his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky". He went on to say the call "wasn't linked to weapons or the story with Burisma", the company that employed Hunter. "This was not the subject of our conversation", Zelenskiy said. "And after our meeting America unblocked the aid".

But new details about the sequence inside the White House suggest that concerns about the call and events leading up to it were profound even among Trump's top advisers, including Bolton and then-acting deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman. Mr. Zelensky, who says he spoke in Ukrainian during the call, said the White House transcript inaccurately reflected his statement that the new prosecutor would be "a 100-per-cent honest man". Zelensky is trying to save his reputation and distance himself from the USA political drama.

Zelensky told reporters at the United Nations in September that the only person that can pressure him is his son. While Mr. Zelensky acknowledged regular contacts with the oligarch - Mr. Kolomoisky's former lawyer is Mr. Zelensky's chief of staff - he said that Mr. Kolomoisky knew that Mr. Zelensky would always put the national interests first.

"We are now looking again at all cases that were closed or broken up or were investigated earlier to make a decision to reconsider those instances where illegal procedural decisions were made", he said.

However, their contemporaneous alarm over Trump's conduct on the call would undermine the relevance of questioning the 18-day gap between the call and the whistleblower complaint by the president's defenders.

It appears to be some of these White House officials who first alerted the whistleblower who started off this process of what was going on with the July phone call and other matters related to Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking at the Summit of leaders from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.