WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence’s office says he was not asked by President Trump to raise the Biden family or Burisma in conversations with the president of Ukraine last year.
Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short said in a statement that Trump “expressed concerns about corruption in Ukraine” in a meeting before Pence flew to Poland to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Short said: “At no time did I hear him tie aid to Ukraine to investigations into the Biden family or Burisma.”
Burisma is a Ukrainian gas company, and Joe Biden's son, Hunter, had been on the board of that company.
Short says Pence only discussed corruption in Ukraine and burden-sharing with other nations of aid to Ukraine — "because that’s what the President asked him to raise.”
The statement comes as Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general and a member of Trump's legal team, is speaking on the Senate floor in defense of the president at his impeachment trial in the Senate.
Read the full statement:
‘As matter of policy we don’t typically share or discuss conversations between the President and Vice President, but given the journalistic fury over alleged conversations, the President has given me permission to set the record straight. In every conversation with the President and the Vice President in preparation for our trip to Poland, the President consistently expressed his frustration that the United States was bearing the lion’s share of responsibility for aid to Ukraine and that European nations weren’t doing their part. The President also expressed concerns about corruption in Ukraine. At no time did I hear him tie aid to Ukraine to investigations into the Biden family or Burisma. As White House Counsel presented today, based upon testimony provided by Democrat witnesses in the House hearings, these were the only issues that the Vice President discussed with Ukrainian officials --- because that’s what the President asked him to raise.’
Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Pence