White House officials, Giuliani come to Trump's defense on Ukraine allegations

Administration officials on Sunday came to President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE's defense amid reports that he pressed Ukraine's leader to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball on Sanders-Warren feud: 'Don't play to the pundits, play to voters' MORE's son Hunter Biden.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinSecurity for Trump's Mar-a-Lago visits cost local taxpayers million On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Senate approves Trump trade deal with Canada, Mexico | Senate Dems launch probe into Trump tax law regulations | Trump announces Fed nominees Senate Democrats launch investigation into Trump tax law regulations MORE during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" denied that the topic had come up during Trump’s calls with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.


"I wasn't on the call, but I have no reason to believe the president pressured ... a foreign leader. I think this is a lot being made up about one person's speculation," Mnuchin told Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperSteyer says 'grassroots organizing' in Nevada, South Carolina got him on debate stage Pentagon chief says he 'didn't see' intelligence suggesting Iran planned to attack four US embassies Ex-White House press, military officials call on Grisham to restart regular briefings MORE. "I think things are being implied that just don't exist."

Pressed by Tapper on why the White House will not release a transcript of the call in question, Mnuchin said that "conversations with foreign leaders are supposed to be confidential."

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request House panel reinvites Pompeo to deliver Iran testimony MORE was similarly opposed to releasing a transcript, saying it "wouldn’t be appropriate." 

"Those are private conversations between world leaders, and it wouldn’t be appropriate to do so except in the most extreme circumstances," Pompeo said on ABC’s “This Week.”

The secretary of State also defended a potential investigation of Joe Biden’s family, saying, "I do think if Vice President Biden behaved inappropriately, if he was protecting his son and intervened with the Ukrainian leadership in a way that was corrupt, I do think we need to get to the bottom of that."

President Trump, however, implied in remarks to reporters Sunday morning that his call with Zelensky had in fact included discussions of Biden and his son. As he left for an event in Texas, Trump said the subject of the call "was largely the fact that we don't want our people like Vice President Biden and his son [contributing] to the corruption already in the Ukraine."

"I'm not looking to hurt Biden ... but he said a very bad thing. He said a very foolish thing," Trump added.

Meanwhile, Trump’s personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process House Democrats release second batch of Parnas materials Republicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment MORE, who made headlines last week when he said that he had communicated with Ukraine on Trump’s behalf after initially denying it, sparred with “Fox News Sunday” guest host John Roberts on whether the focus should be on the contacts themselves.

"I have all the contacts between Democrats and the Ukraine," Giuliani said. "When the rest of this comes out and we look at China and the $1.5 billion that the Biden family took out of China while that guy was negotiating for us, this will be a lot bigger than Spiro Agnew."

When Roberts asked whether it was appropriate for him to solicit information on Joe Biden from foreign governments, Giuliani responded, “That’s the way you characterize it.”

“That’s the way it appears to line up,” Roberts said, with Giuliani countering, “That’s the way the pro-Biden media lines it up.”

On the Democratic side, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial GOP threatens to weaponize impeachment witnesses amid standoff MORE (D-Calif.), one of the most reticent House leaders on impeachment, said it could be “the only remedy” if Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden.

"[I] want the country to understand this is the last resort," Schiff said on CNN’s "State of the Union" on Sunday. "The president is pushing us down this road."

Schiff said House Democrats will push for the release of both the transcript and the whistleblower complaint that brought the allegations to light.

"Clearly, the president is afraid for the public to see either one of those things," he said.

And Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocrats request briefing on intel behind Trump's embassy threat claim US citizen dies in Egyptian prison after hunger strike President Trump's strike of choice MORE (D-Conn.) said Zelensky told him he had no intention of interfering in the 2020 presidential election in the wake of the allegations.

"Later in the meeting, I raised with him these overtures from the Trump campaign. He gave me a very strong answer. He said they have no intention of getting involved in an American election, that they knew what damage it would do to them," Murphy said on NBC’s "Meet the Press," referring to a recent trip to Kiev.