The White House has released what a spokesperson called a “memorandum of a telephone conversation” between US President Donald Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in response to accusations that Trump attempted to coerce Zelensky into investigating a company associated with Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph Biden. In that reconstruction—which is, as per the memorandum, “not a verbatim transcript of a discussion,” Trump asked Zelensky to “do us a favor” in what appears to be a reference to the investigation of the hacking of the Democratic National Committee:
The transcript further revealed a deep dislike by U.S. President Donald Trump for French and German leaders.
Trump complained to Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy the U.S. “spends a lot of effort and time” on Ukraine while European countries “talk” but do nothing.
“Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it’s something that you should really ask them about,” Trump told Zelenskyy during the call in July.
He said European countries are not helping Ukraine enough at a time when his administration is waging a trade war with the EU.
“When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she doesn’t do anything. A lot of the European countries are the same way,” Trump said, in an apparent bid to pit Ukraine against its regional neighbors.
The call was made a few months after Zelenskyy’s election victory. Details of the conversation have become the subject of an impeachment inquiry by congressional Democrats who said Trump abused his power to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate a political rival.
President Volodymr Zelenskyy responded to Trump by saying he is “absolutely right” and “not only 100%, but actually 1,000%.”
He said he talked to Merkel and [French President Emmanuel] Macron and told them “they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions” against Russia.
“They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said, agreeing with Trump.
Around the same time of the conversation, Macron, signed a tax into law, mainly targeting U.S. firms.
It applies a 3% tax on tech companies that have total annual revenues of at least 750 million euros with 25 million euros coming from French revenues.
Trump wasted no time in targeting the French tax hikes, vowing his administration “will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron’s foolishness shortly.”
He has yet to take action.