US President Donald Trump “used” his deputy Mike Pence to notify Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of suspending aid to his country, The Washington Post reported.
The paper quoted current and former US officials as saying that Pence was unaware of Trump’s efforts to pressure the Ukrainian president over Trump’s rival son, Joe Biden.
The paper reported that Trump directed Pence not to attend the inauguration of Zelensky.
Katie Waldman, a spokeswoman for Pence, said the newspaper was “an explicit acquittal of the US administration”.
“It is quite clear that the vice president delivered the president’s messages on fighting corruption and sharing the European burden directly and effectively.
As soon as he returned, financial aid was released”, Bloomberg News reported.
Trump is under fire amid calls for his removal from office over accusations of a telephone conversation between him and the Ukrainian president, in which he is said to be demanding that the president put pressure on Trump’s likely rival in the next presidential election.