WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday released a memorandum of an April telephone conversation he had with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine that differed from a summary of the call released by the White House months ago.
The memorandum of the call, which took place after Mr. Zelensky won a landside presidential election, shows the two men praising each other’s political acumen and predicting an era of warm relations between the United States and Ukraine. There is no mention of Mr. Trump’s determination to have Ukraine’s government investigate his political rivals — one subject of a July phone call that has become the focus of an impeachment inquiry in Congress.
But a White House readout of the call in April provides a different account. In that summary, provided to reporters shortly after the call took place, the administration said that Mr. Trump promised to work with Mr. Zelensky “to implement reforms that strengthen democracy, increase prosperity and root out corruption.”
A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to an email seeking an explanation for the discrepancy.
On April 21, Mr. Zelensky, an unseasoned politician who promised to rid the country of its endemic corruption, had won a stunning victory. When he spoke with Mr. Trump that day, he said he admired Mr. Trump’s outsider victory in 2016 and studied some of Mr. Trump’s tactics.
In the memorandum of the call released on Friday, Mr. Trump said, “I have no doubt you will be a fantastic president,” invited him to the White House and heaped praise on Ukraine.
“When I owned Miss Universe, they always had great people,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the beauty pageant.
Mr. Trump came into office with a deep suspicion about Ukraine, with many of his aides convinced — without any evidence — that the Ukrainian government interfered in the 2016 election to help the campaign of Hillary Clinton.
The rough transcript released Friday was of a telephone call three months before a July conversation Mr. Trump had with Mr. Zelensky. During that call, Mr. Trump appeared to condition American military aid to Ukraine on whether Mr. Zelensky agreed to pursue investigations into the Biden family and he alleged that Ukrainians tried to undermine the Trump campaign in 2016.
Last month, the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, confirmed that Mr. Trump was indeed offering a quid pro quo during that July 25 call, but dismissed the controversy and said people needed to “get over it.”
Mr. Mulvaney took back the declaration later that day.
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