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King Says Trump Phone Call Is Worth Exploring With Impeachment Inquiry

J. Scott Applewhite
Sen. Angus King walks to the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

Maine independent U.S. Sen. Angus King says President Donald Trump's phone call this summer with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looks like an attempted transaction, and is worth exploring through the House impeachment inquiry.

Speaking on CNN Tuesday evening, King addressed allegations that the president withheld nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine in exchange for the country's help in investigating former vice president Joe Biden, a potential rival in Trump's reelection bid.

"The State Department was against it, the Defense Department was against it. He did it, it was his order through the Office of Management and Budget about a week or two before this phone call," King says.

King also raised questions about potential gaps in the White House reconstruction of the July 25 phone call between the two presidents.

"And we timed it. They read at a normal speaking pace and it took 10 minutes and 40 seconds," King says. "The phone call was 30 minutes."

King says it's possible the use of a translator could explain the gap, but he also noted that Zelensky speaks English.

King last week announced his support for the impeachment inquiry after he was initially reluctant to do so.

Originally published Oct. 2, 2019 at 10:42 a.m. ET.