President Donald Trump wanted Attorney General William Barr to hold a news conference clearing the president of unlawful behavior in his telephone interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Barr reportedly refused, and the two remain on good terms.

The White House has denied the report. “No amount of shady sources with clear intent to divide, smear, and slander will change that,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

The Washington Post reported that Trump made the request when a reconstructed transcript of the July 25 phone call was released. In the call, Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to launch an investigation on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

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The president first communicated the idea to White House officials, who then alerted the Justice Department. Although Trump never got an official news conference, the Justice Department gave him a statement:

“The Justice Department [already] ruled the call was good,” Trump tweeted. It also found that Trump did not violate any campaign finance laws. At the time, the Justice Department did not feel that the complaint needed to be reported to Congress.

Trump denies asking Barr to hold the press conference. He has repeatedly claimed that the call was “perfect.”

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