10:58 GMT23 October 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that Ukraine had always been "very well represented" at the "Miss Universe" beauty pageant he formerly managed, according to a rough transcript of their first phone call released by the White House on Friday.

    "When I owned Miss Universe, they always had great people. Ukraine was always very well represented", Trump is quoted as saying.

    Earlier in the day, the White House released a memo detailing Trump's first conversation with Zelenskyy, after a rough transcript of their second call was previously made public.

    Before being elected as president in 2016, Trump, along with his other business endeavours, was the co-owner and Executive Producer of the “Miss Universe Pageant”, “Miss USA Pageant” and “Miss Teen USA Pageant” beauty contests.

    After the Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry over allegations that Trump, in an attempt to boost his 2020 re-election bid, pressed Zelensky over the phone to investigate activities of former Vice President Joe Biden's son in Ukraine, the US leader ordered the release of an unredacted transcript of the conversation in question.

    The transcript showed that Trump did ask Zelenskyy to work with his personal lawyer and the US attorney general to "look into" the case of Joe Biden, who admitted publicly in 2016 to having threatened the Ukraine authorities with withholding $1 billion in US loan guarantees if Kiev did not fire the prosecutor who had been investigating a Ukrainian gas company linked to his son Hunter. Hunter notably joined the company's board in 2014, just after the change of power in Ukraine that triggered the Donbas conflict.

    Zelensky, in turn, assured Trump that Ukraine's next prosecutor general would be "100 percent my person" and would look into the case of Biden.

    The transcript did not contain any signs that the US president overtly threatened to withhold any financial assistance to Ukraine if Zelensky did not do him this favour, but the Democrats still accuse him of using his post to dig dirt on his main potential competitor in the next presidential race.

    Beauty pageant, Miss Universe, Volodymyr Zelensky, Donald Trump, Ukraine, United States
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