The Latest: 14 hours?! Ukraine holds longest-ever news event
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The latest on Ukrainian president’s “media marathon” (all times local):
Ukraine’s president just can’t stop talking.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s aptly named “media marathon” in a Kyiv food court Thursday started over breakfast croissants. Then it continued through a burger lunch, dinner and past midnight snack time.
At dusk, his office said he had already beat the record for a world leader’s news conference. Fidel Castro, Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez couldn’t possibly compete with Zelenskiy’s 14-hour feat.
As some 300 journalists took turns at Zelenskiy’s table, no question was off limits: his awkward phone call with Donald Trump, his ties to oligarchs, his troubled peace plan for eastern Ukraine.
He flipped from Ukrainian to English and Russian. After a while, he started mixing them up. Stubble poked through his cheeks. Streetlights went out on Kyiv streets.
And Zelenskiy was still talking.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says his country will “happily” investigate whether Ukrainians interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections.
Zelenskiy told reporters Thursday that “we can’t say yes or no” as to whether there was any interference without an investigation. He said it’s in Ukraine’s interest to determine what happened.
President Donald Trump asked Zelenskiy for such an investigation in a July phone call that has helped prompt an impeachment inquiry. Trump’s claims that Ukraine allied with the Democrats in a plot to derail his 2016 presidential campaign, though no evidence of such a plot has emerged.
Zelenskiy said the U.S. has not provided any details of such interference.
He also said he will not publish the Ukrainian transcript of the July phone call.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says there was “no blackmail” in a phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump that helped spark an impeachment inquiry.
Responding Thursday to questions from The Associated Press, Zelenskiy said that he only learned after their July 25 phone call that the U.S. had blocked hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine.
Trump asked Zelenskiy during the call to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, and Congressional Democrats believe Trump was holding up the aid to use as leverage to pressure Ukraine.
Zelenskiy said he thought the call would lead to an in-person meeting with Trump and wanted the American leader to come to Ukraine.
Zelenskiy is giving an all-day “press marathon” amid growing questions about his actions as president.