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Trump: Reports Of Alleged Improper Conversation With...

Susan Walsh

by

Updated at 2:11 p.m. ET

President Trump blamed "a political hack job" for reports that a whistleblower has charged he had an improper conversation with a foreign leader.

The Washington Post on Friday reported that the conversation in question involves Ukraine.

Trump dismissed the reporting as a "ridiculous story" and said he did not know the identity of the whistleblower, "but I hear it's a partisan person."

Trump said it was a "totally appropriate conversation. It was actually a beautiful conversation," although he did not specify with whom.

Asked if he mentioned former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the conversation, Trump said, "Somebody ought to look into Joe Biden's statement because it's disgraceful."

Trump alleged that Biden "talked [about] billions of dollars that he's not giving to a certain country unless a certain prosecutor was taken off the case."

Trump supporters have alleged that Biden, while in office, urged the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was allegedly looking into son Hunter Biden's business dealings.

The younger Biden joined the board of a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma, in 2014.

Biden's campaign has so far not commented on the row over the intelligence community whistleblower, which has mushroomed after the IC's top watchdog told House lawmakers on Thursday he would not reveal the details about it.

The Ukraine connection and other aspects of the story are so far unverified by officialdom.

Trump addressed the story on Friday when he took questions from reporters in the Oval Office prior to a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Trump said of the whistleblower's report, which is not public or in the hands of Congress: "Everybody's read it; they laughed at it. It's another media disaster, and the media has lost so much credibility in this country."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on Friday that the reports of what she labeled "a reliable" whistleblower complaint "raise grave, urgent concerns for our national security. We must be sure that the President and his Administration are conducting our national security and foreign policy in the best interest of the American people, not the President's personal interest."

Her statement added that the administration's blocking of Acting DNI Joseph Maguire from providing Congress with the complaint "violates the federal statute, which unequivocally states that the DNI 'shall' provide Congress this information. If the President has done what has been alleged, then he is stepping into a dangerous minefield with serious repercussions for his Administration and our democracy."

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