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The Latest On The Trump-Ukraine Controversy

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

There was no pressure. That's President Trump's take on the phone call he had with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, even as a written account of that call suggests otherwise.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

According to notes released by the White House, Trump pushed Zelenskiy to work with the U.S. attorney general to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Trump did so after bringing up how good the U.S. has been to Ukraine.

Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement saying the developments confirm the need for an impeachment inquiry, something the president decried at a news conference in New York this afternoon, where he's attending the U.N. General Assembly.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It's very sad what the Democrats are doing to this country. They're dividing. They're belittling. They're demeaning our country. So many leaders came up to me today, and they said, sir, what you go through no president has ever gone through.

SHAPIRO: Earlier today, President Trump spoke with Ukraine's president in a previously scheduled meeting at the U.N. In a brief appearance afterward, Zelenskiy said this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKIY: I'm sorry, but I don't want to be involved to democratic, open elections, elections of USA.

SHAPIRO: He also said the phone call with Trump was good.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ZELENSKIY: It was normal. We spoke about many things. And I - so I think, and you read it, that nobody pushed me, yes.

TRUMP: There was no pressure.

CORNISH: But this morning, Hakeem Jeffries, chair of the House Democratic Caucus, said Trump clearly pressured Zelenskiy with a specific goal in mind.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

HAKEEM JEFFRIES: To commence an investigation of the Biden family, to dig up political dirt in order to bolster the president's electoral prospects in 2020 - that is textbook abuse of power, and the transcripts have become Exhibit A in that regard. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.