Scalise defends Trump Ukraine call: 'I'm glad President Trump continues to look into [Russian] interference'

Scalise defends Trump Ukraine call: 'I'm glad President Trump continues to look into [Russian] interference'
© Greg Nash

House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseRepublicans criticize Pelosi for gifting pens used to sign impeachment articles The Hill's Morning Report - Impeachment trial a week away; debate night GOP leaders take aim at Democrats over rhetoric on Iran MORE (R-La.) defended President Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, saying he is "glad" the president is looking into Russian interference. 

“There’s still a lot of information about how the Russians interfered in our election when Barrack Obama was president, and I’m glad President Trump continues to look into that interference so it doesn't happen again,” Scalise said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 

Scalise repeated Trump's unproven allegations against former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Ex-Obama official on Sanders-Warren feud: 'I don't think it played out well for either of them' Parnas says he doesn't think that Joe Biden did anything wrong regarding Ukraine MORE, but wouldn’t directly address whether he felt Trump acted appropriately based on the transcript of a call between Trump and Zelensky. 

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“Do you think it was appropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader for help investigating his chief political rival in 2020?” NBC’s Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddShepard Smith talking to MSNBC about prime-time spot as network eyes Chuck Todd move: report Administration officials defend Trump claims, Soleimani intelligence as senators push back on briefing Sunday shows - Administration officials grilled on Trump's Iran claims MORE asked Scalise Sunday on “Meet the Press.” 

“Again, go look at what he talked about in that call conversation,” Scalise responded. “He was talking about the 2016 interference that happened in our election.”

“Congressman you know the truth behind that, why are you putting it out there,” Todd asked.

Todd pressed Scalise on whether he felt Trump acted appropriately in asking a foreign leader to investigate a political rival, and accused Scalise of avoiding the question. 

“Don’t try to infer anything,” Scalise said, again without directly answering the question. 

“You seem uncomfortable defending the president's actions,” Todd said. 

“You’ve made a lot of statements and accusations president trump was looking into the 2016 collusion interference that Russia had when Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaNew Hampshire Rep. Kuster endorses Buttigieg Overnight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall Ray LaHood backs Biden for president MORE was president we all know that has happened under Barack Obama's watch,” Scalise responded. 

The Ukraine call and whistleblower complaint alleging the White House tried to hide the transcript on a highly classified server are part of the House’s impeachment inquiry into Trump. 

Almost all Democrats have come out in support of the impeachment inquiry, but most Republicans have been reluctant, with many defending the president’s actions.