Ex-Trump official says he saw no improper calls to leaders


President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, where he announced that McMaster will be the new national security adviser. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A former national security adviser to President Donald Trump said Thursday that he never witnessed any improper solicitation of foreign leaders when he served in the administration.

Retired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster said he listened to most calls and meetings with foreign leaders while he served as national security adviser for a year. Trump fired him in March 2018 after repeated clashes.

“In all the conversations, all the meetings I was privy to there was never any incident of the president soliciting any kind of assistance for anything,” McMaster said at a security forum hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Congress is conducting an impeachment inquiry based on a whistleblower’s allegation that Trump pressed the president of Ukraine to dig up dirt on a political rival as he delayed military aid to the country.

McMaster said such conduct would “absolutely” be wrong. He said what has to happen is for the American people through “their representatives in Congress to make a judgment as to whether or not that happened.” .

McMaster replaced Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who resigned as national security adviser barely a month into the job.

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