Aides defend Pence’s role in Ukraine controversy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Aides to Vice President Mike Pence are defending his role in the Ukraine controversy that is ensnaring President Donald Trump in impeachment hearings.

According to a person familiar with the matter, President Donald Trump told Pence to cancel his plans to attend the inauguration of Ukraine’s new president earlier this year after initially pushing for him to go. But aides to Pence dispute that, blaming logistics for the decision.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations

Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, noted that Ukraine’s Parliament formally set the date of Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s inauguration just a week before it took place.

The aides also said that Pence has never mentioned Trump’s potential Democratic rival Joe Biden in repeated conversations he has had with Zelenskiy.

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