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Trump has no plans to meet with Zelensky at Davos

Trump has no plans to meet with Zelensky at Davos
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE says he isn’t planning to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“I didn’t know he was here. I don’t think we had it planned,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Tuesday. Trump added, however, that he would be willing to meet with the Ukrainian president, whom he called “a really good guy.”

Trump’s contacts with Zelensky have been under scrutiny since September as a result of the House impeachment trial.

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Zelensky is scheduled to attend the annual economic forum on Wednesday and will deliver a speech in addition to meeting with foreign officials and business leaders, according to Ukrainian media reports.

The Democratic-controlled House voted last month to impeach Trump for abusing his power in his dealings with Ukraine and obstructing the congressional inquiry into those dealings. The impeachment trial in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, is scheduled to begin in earnest later Tuesday afternoon.

The Democrats’ case revolves around a July 25 phone call during which Trump asked Zelensky to look into a debunked theory about 2016 election interference and unfounded claims about former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  New DOJ rule could allow executions by electrocution, firing squad MORE and his son’s dealings in Ukraine.

Democrats allege that Trump sought to pressure Ukraine to launch investigations into his political rivals — Biden is a Democratic presidential contender — by withholding a White House meeting and security assistance to Ukraine.

Trump has maintained he did nothing wrong and did not pressure Ukraine to launch the investigations, repeatedly calling his phone call with Zelensky “perfect.” The president has often cited remarks from Zelensky saying he felt no pressure from the American president.

Trump’s attorneys filed a lengthy brief on Monday asserting that the transcript of the call “shows that the President did nothing wrong” and that Trump had legitimate reason for raising 2016 interference and the Bidens on the call. They also maintain Trump did not seek a quid pro quo with Ukraine.

The rough transcript of the call was released by the White House in September, just as Trump met with Zelensky on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. It marked the first bilateral meeting between the two leaders, and they have not met face-to-face since.