The Latest: Biden critical of Trump for urging Ukraine probe

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Donald Trump

President Donald Trump tours a section of the southern border wall, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Otay Mesa, Calif. President Trump is asking a federal judge to block an effort by New York prosecutors to obtain his tax returns. Trump’s attorneys filed a lawsuit Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in U.S. District Court in New York.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and an intelligence official’s whistleblower complaint (all times local):

6:50 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is decrying reports that President Donald Trump urged the president of Ukraine to look into his son’s business dealings there.

Biden says in a statement that if the reports are true, “Then there is truly no bottom to President Trump’s willingness to abuse his power and abase our country.”

Biden said Trump should release the transcript of his July phone conversation with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy “so that the American people can judge for themselves.”

Biden released the statement after news organizations reported Trump had urged Zelenskiy to probe the activities of Biden’s son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company.

Trump says there was nothing inappropriate in his contacts with foreign leaders

6 p.m.

President Donald Trump urged the new leader of Ukraine to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

The push to damage a political rival is at the heart of a whistleblower complaint that has created a showdown between Congress and the White House.

Two people familiar with the matter say the complaint was based on a series of events, one of which was a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

One of the people says Trump urged Zelenskiy to probe the activities of potential rival Biden’s son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company. The people were not authorized to discuss the issue by name.

Trump is angrily labeling the allegation as “partisan” even as Democrats move to investigate the interactions.

— Jonathan Lemire

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3 p.m.

President Donald Trump is meeting at next week’s U.N. General Assembly with the leader of Ukraine amid a blowup in Washington about a whistleblower’s complaint that alleges wrongdoing in a private conversation Trump had with a foreign leader — reportedly the president of Ukraine.

The White House says Trump meets Wednesday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Trump on Friday dismissed the complaint, saying his conversations with foreign leaders are “appropriate.”

Separately, Democrats are looking into whether Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has pressured Ukraine to investigate the activities of the son of potential political rival Joe Biden, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company.

The White House says Trump and Zelenskiy will discuss anti-corruption, energy, trade, the conflict in eastern Ukraine and Chinese intellectual property theft in Ukraine.

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2:10 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump’s administration faces “serious repercussions” if reports are accurate of a whistleblower’s complaint reportedly about his conversation with a foreign leader.

Pelosi said in a statement Friday the complaint raises “grave, urgent concerns for our national security.”

She warned that if the president has done what is alleged he is “stepping into a dangerous minefield.”

The intelligence community’s inspector general notified Congress of a whistleblower’s complaint that was “serious” and “urgent.” It involves series of events reportedly involving Trump’s contact with a foreign leader and appears to center on Ukraine.

Trump has denied doing anything wrong.

The contents of the complaint are unknown to Congress because the Trump administration has refused to allow the inspector general to turn it over to the oversight committees.

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12:40 p.m.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says President Trump’s attack on a whistleblower who alerted intelligence officials to a serious and urgent matter is “disturbing.”

Rep. Adam Schiff says it’s also “deeply disturbing” that the White House appears to know more about the whistleblower’s complaint than the complaint’s intended recipient, Congress.

The Trump administration is refusing to let congressional oversight committees see it.

Schiff says the information “deserves a thorough investigation” and that “come hell or high water, that’s what we’re going to do.”

The California Democrat worries that the president’s actions will have a “chilling effect” on other whistleblowers and pose a “real threat” to accountability.

The intelligence agencies’ inspector general notified Congress of the “urgent” complaint concerning a series of events, reportedly including Trump’s conversation with a foreign leader.

Trump is defending himself against a “partisan whistleblower.” He says “it’s just another political hack job” and that his conversations with foreign leaders were “totally appropriate.”

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10:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is defending himself against a “partisan whistleblower” whose complaint included a reported private conversation Trump had with a foreign leader.

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Friday that “it’s just another political hack job” and that his conversations with foreign leaders were “totally appropriate.”

The government’s intelligence watchdog said Thursday that the complaint, which the administration has refused to let Congress see, is “urgent.”

Some of the whistleblower’s allegations appear to center on Ukraine, according to reports in The Washington Post and The New York Times. Trump said Friday he did not know if that was the conversation in question.

The president, sitting with the prime minister of Australia, said “it doesn’t matter what I discussed” and said he did not know the identity of the whistleblower.

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10:19 a.m.

President Donald Trump defended himself Friday against a whistleblower’s complaint, including a reported private conversation with a foreign leader.

The government’s intelligence watchdog said Thursday that the complaint, which the administration has refused to let Congress see, is “serious” and “urgent,” But Trump says he’s done nothing wrong.

Some of the whistleblower’s allegations appear to center on Ukraine, according to The Washington Post and The New York Times. In a tweet Friday, Trump did not reference Ukraine or any other country, but said “there was nothing said wrong.” He tweeted that there was a “perfectly fine and respectful conversation.”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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