US President Donald Trump denies asking attorney general to clear him on Ukraine

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Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump has denied asking the justice department to clear him of wrongdoing over a phone call with Ukraine’s president that is at the heart of an impeachment inquiry.

Attorney General William Barr declined Mr Trump’s request to clear him in a press conference.

The president has dismissed the reports as a “con job”.

The Democratic-led inquiry hinges on whether Mr Trump pressured Ukraine on that call to investigate a rival.

Mr Trump denies using US military aid as a bargaining chip to prod Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky into launching a corruption investigation against Democratic White House contender Joe Biden.

Mr Trump, a Republican, has repeatedly insisted his call with Ukraine’s leader was “perfect”.

House Democrats will hold the first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry next week.