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Thu. 9:06 a.m.: Ukraine to probe alleged 2016 US interference

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says his country will “happily” investigate whether Ukrainians interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections.

Zelenskiy told reporters today that “we can’t say yes or no” as to whether there was any interference without an investigation. He said it’s in Ukraine’s interest to determine what happened.

President Donald Trump asked Zelenskiy for such an investigation in a July phone call that has helped prompt an impeachment inquiry. Trump’s claims that Ukraine allied with the Democrats in a plot to derail his 2016 presidential campaign, though no evidence of such a plot has emerged.

Zelenskiy said the U.S. has not provided any details of such interference.

He also said he will not publish the Ukrainian transcript of the July phone call.

Zelenskiy says there was “no blackmail” in the phone call with Trump. Responding today to questions from The Associated Press, Zelenskiy said that he only learned after their July 25 phone call that the U.S. had blocked hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine.

Trump asked Zelenskiy during the call to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, and Congressional Democrats believe Trump was holding up the aid to use as leverage to pressure Ukraine.

Zelenskiy said he thought the call would lead to an in-person meeting with Trump and wanted the American leader to come to Ukraine.

Zelenskiy is giving an all-day “press marathon” amid growing questions about his actions as president.

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