President Donald Trump is tried to distance himself from the scandal he created by telling House Republicans that he made his now-infamous phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the urging of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Axios reports.
Trump’s claim came during a conference call with House members on Friday, according to 3 sources on the call.
According to the sources, Trump insisted that his call with Zelensky was “perfect” and he did nothing wrong. But he then threw Perry into the mix.
“Not a lot of people know this but, I didn’t even want to make the call. The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to,” Trump said, according to one of the sources, recalling the president’s comments. Two other sources confirmed the first source’s recollection, according to Axios.
Trump’s remarks suggest he may be seeking to distance himself from responsibility or recast the pretext for the call.
Another source on the call said Trump added that “more of this will be coming out in the next few days” — referring to Perry.
Text messages released this week between Trump administration officials and Andrey Yermak, a top aide to Zelensky, suggest that Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was a primary advocate for arranging the call.
There is no mention in the text messages of Perry playing a role in making this call happen.
White House officials did not respond to requests for comment.