Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., pressed Hale on the latter point, because it is a key argument made by President Donald Trump and his supporters to explain why the administration withheld military aid amid the president's requests the country investigate its part in the US election.
"I think that Mr. Trump can speak directly", he said.
Russian Federation and Ukraine have been at war since 2014, when Russian Federation seized the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. Democrats launched an inquiry in September into allegations Trump abused his power to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic possible rival in the 2020 presidential race.
"I do think that we have to adhere to the facts presented to us by our intelligence community", the junior Utah senator added.
Over the last few weeks, current and former White House officials testified before the House Intelligence Committee and debunked the baseless conspiracy theory that the government of Ukraine, not Russian Federation, interfered in the 2016 presidential election. But then he got into how Trump and other USA officials had been publicly labeling Ukraine a "corrupt country" and the difficulties that this causes with global investors and businesses.
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"I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternative narrative that the Ukrainian government is a USA adversary, and that Ukraine - not Russian Federation - attacked us in 2016", she said. "The President can say that they meddled because they had a preference, the elected officials, that's not the current people".
During the interview, Zelenskiy also pushed back against Trump's comments categorizing Ukraine as a corrupt, saying it is damaging to the country.
"All branches of government were corrupted over many years", he said.
The White House froze almost $300 million in security aid to Ukraine about two weeks before Trump spoke with Zelensky and asked for "a favor" in the form of those two investigations.
"The United States of America is a signal for the world - for everyone. Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have global capital in Ukraine, it's a signal to them that says, 'Be careful, don't invest.' Or, 'Get out of there'".