MADISON — Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader and Republican congressional candidate Scott Fitzgerald on Tuesday downplayed concerns over President Donald Trump’s conduct surrounding Ukraine and dismissed the House’s impeachment inquiry as a “political witch hunt.”

The Juneau Republican whose 13th Senate District includes Jefferson County also dismissed the president’s calls for China to investigate possible corruption allegations against his political opponent, saying the remarks were likely “off the cuff” and he wasn’t sure “that anyone would take it seriously.”

Still, Fitzgerald later stressed that “everything should be vetted” in relation to the call between Trump and the Ukrainian president earlier this summer, in which Trump allegedly requested an investigation into former vice president and Democratic presidential front runner Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election.

“I think that’s what members of Congress are asking for right now is that you can continue down the path of exploring all these different kinds of items, but whether or not they’re legit is a whole different question or whether or not they’re politically motivated,” he said.

Fitzgerald’s comments came after Trump requested that Ukraine and Russia investigate Biden. The Ukraine request was brought to light through a whistleblower’s complaint over the summer that triggered an impeachment probe in the Democratic-run House.

That complaint, released late last month, alleges Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter, in exchange for aid, and that the White House attempted to keep the call records a secret.

Fitzgerald, though, downplayed that conversation, telling reporters that “it sounds like everything that was done within that discussion was in the purview of what a president of the United States should be able to do with any foreign diplomat and it shouldn’t necessarily be made public.”

Fitzgerald also declined to weigh in on U.S. Sen Ron Johnson’s decision to get more details from Trump about a possible Ukrainian investigation into the Bidens after learning from a U.S. ambassador that the president was looking to tie military aid to information.

Asked if Johnson, R-Oshkosh, should have instead held an oversight hearing on the issue, Fitzgerald responded: “I guess I don’t have an opinion on what Sen. Johnson should have done.”

Fitzgerald, who’s running for Congress in the Milwaukee-area 5th District, also said he wasn’t sure what he would have done if he had been in that situation.

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