Trump Transcript: What We Know, What we Don’t

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Page one of five from a White House-released rough transcript of President Donald Trump's July 25, 2019 telephone conversation with Ukraine's newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, released Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019 in Washington. (The White House via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump repeatedly prodded Ukraine’s new leader to work with lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the U.S. attorney general to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden, according to a rough transcript summarizing a July 25 call that was released Wednesday.

five-page summary of the call detailed a conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. It’s just one piece of an overall complaint made in mid-August by a whistleblower. The complaint is central to the formal impeachment inquiry launched Tuesday by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Here’s a look at what the partial transcript tells us — and what it doesn’t.

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What We Know: Trump told the Ukrainian president, “If you can look into it … it sounds horrible to me,” referring to unsubstantiated allegations that Biden sought to interfere with a Ukrainian prosecutor’s investigation of his son Hunter, who had been hired by a gas company in that country.

Trump also confirmed that he ordered his staff to freeze nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine a few days before the call.

The Republican president has denied any wrongdoing.

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What We Don’t Know: The rough transcript is not a full account of what was said on the call between Trump and Zelenskiy — meaning more details might yet emerge. Congress has also not seen the full whistleblower’s complaint, which is believed to be based on more than just the call.

In the meantime, the impeachment probe focuses partly on whether Trump abused his presidential powers and sought help from a foreign government to undermine Biden and help his own reelection effort. Whether Trump’s comments in the partial transcript rise to that will ultimately be up to the Democrat-controlled House, which can eventually vote to move forward with impeachment proceedings.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. If the CALL is no big deal, then why are top Republicans having a stroke and running for the Bunker?
    Asking a foreign head of state to dig up dirt on a political opponent is the definition of treachery, collusion and criminal behavior, all to help Trump win an election. Its not about Obama, Hillary or Biden now. Trump is in trouble. He did this.

    • Well, isn’t it convenient that those “top Republicans” are ones, like Romney, who have never had a good word to say about Trump, and who have repeatedly opposed him, even when he’s implementing policies that are supposed to be part of the Republican platform. Why, one might almost suppose that it’s not about principle but about partisanship. But of course, yesterday’s Hitler (as your side called Romney in 2012) is today’s wise statesman, right?

      And no, asking a foreign head of state to reopen a prosecution which was closed not because Biden was found innocent, but because he used his political muscle to get it closed, is the right thing to do. There isn’t one legal system for well-connected Democrats and a different one for everyone else.

      • AH, It’s hard for any thinking Republican to have a good word to say about Trump especially after what he has said about Republicans during his run for office.
        Family values and deficit reduction were always Republican policies and Trump certainly has opposite views.
        I don’t recall any harsh words said about Romney except for criticism over his transporting a pet dog on the roof of his car.

        • Well, isn’t that convenient, that you “don’t recall” the times he was called a Nazi, Hitler, one who (to quote Biden) was going to put blacks back in chains, that he was a misogynist for having “binders full of women,” etc. etc.

          You might also consider that Trump did endorse Romney for the Senate, so it is at the very least gross ingratitude for Romney to be the first to attack Trump. As for your “Republican policies,” consider how many other ones Trump has gotten accomplished (not the least being conservative judges); for Romney and you to oppose him amounts to choosing style over substance.

    • It’s treason ? Really nice made up buba masa. What’s treasonous about it ? It’s collusion ? Oy vey the new “c” word . A new made up crime called collusion .

      Is it dirty ? Yes but it’s no crime. And when fighting D.C. Establishments and ripping apart old norms we need to play dirty .

      If you think Trump will get removed from office dream on . Your impeachment nonsense will only energize his base ! Bring it on . And Russia , Ukraine if you are listening please publish Bidens emails

    • Who’s having a stroke, snowflake? Only Biden who’s the one who committed a crime, and dems who have egg on their face for starting the impeachment nonsense before even seeing the transcript which showed no crime on Trump’s part! YET ANOTHER fruitless hoax for dems. This will guarantee an even bigger landslide win for Trump! #KAG

    • Yeah just like he colluded with Russia, as Shifty Adam Schaffer’s guaranteed he had proof of (where’s that proof now?) and Mueller’s report would surely show! Lol. Libtards are pathetic and their desperation is showing! They sure can’t compete with him on policy and his huge successes, and their candidates who want to be the nominee are such losers, so all they’ve got left are phony hoaxes. I can’t believe even the biggest snowflake TDS low IQ idiots aren’t appalled at all these embarrassing and unsuccessful attempts to fabricate stories about Trump!

  2. GOP to Biden: Release transcripts of your calls with Ukrainian and Chinese leaders
    The Republican National Committee presented a challenge to Joe Biden on Tuesday, after the Democratic presidential candidate called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
    Earlier in the day, the president announced that he would release the full transcript of a call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, following an anonymous whistleblower’s allegations of impropriety during the conversation.
    RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel then called on the former vice president to release the transcripts of his own conversations with Ukrainian and Chinese leaders.

    McDaniel issued a statement, saying:
    Once again, Joe Biden has shown he is just as extreme as the rest of the 2020 Democrats who are desperate to bring President Trump down. Instead of backing a baseless impeachment effort, Biden should be answering for the only scandal that exists: Why a corrupt Ukrainian company paid his son $50,000 a month to lobby the Obama-Biden administration, and why Biden threatened the Ukrainians if they failed to fire a prosecutor investigating the company.
    Now that the President has authorized the release of the transcript of his call with President Zelensky, we call on Biden to release the transcripts of his calls as Vice President with Ukrainian and Chinese leaders while his son was conducting shady business deals in those countries.

    • Biden is toast. He would’ve been out anyway because of all his terrible gaffes, mistakes, embarrassing stupidity, and this is just the final nail in his coffin. It will be Pocahontas. Can’t wait.

  3. Why are they not investigating Biden for trying to interfere in an investigation on his son?
    As a matter of fact, why not investigate the whole previous administration for all sorts of wrongdoing? Oh, wait! I forgot! Because we’re not allowed to criticize Obama or Hillary for anything as they are perfect and can do no wrong.

    Interesting that for 30-40 years, Trump said exactly the same things he says now on different issues and as long as he was “one of them” they kissed the ground he walked on. The minute he decided to run as a Republican, all of a sudden he’s evil and anything that comes out of his mouth is the most terrible thing in the world (even though he’s said it many times before), no matter what he says, just that it’s HIM that said it.

    • Not only that. Romney in 2012 was the devil incarnate, the newest Hitler, the one whom Biden claimed was going to “put [blacks] back in chains,” etc. etc. Suddenly, now that he’s against Trump (and actually, he’s never been in favor of him, not even when Trump endorsed his candidacy for the Senate), the Democrats consider him the wise elder statesman whose every word is truth.

  4. A very appropriate comment about the summary transcript appearing on Twitter:

    “This is like telling your girlfriend you’re not cheating on her and then releasing the sex tape to prove it.”

  5. I mean really…praising the Ukrainian prosecutor who was discredited by all of Europe as massively corrupt, making repeated charges against the Bidens without any evidence at all, and after two earlier investigations there found nothing amiss, and asking as a “favor” for the Ukrainians to contact AG Barr to coordinate an investigation of Joe Biden…and last week Ukrainian foreign ministry officials saying they felt they were being dragged into an American political fight. Only the Fuhrerprincip as followed by devout Trumpies wouldn’t see an issue here.

    • Ain’t it too bad bec you ain’t removing him. Trump plays dirty just like you do. Similar shitck. YOu spam and lie on VIN so why can’t he lie and scam.

      Now here is what you don’t get. Noone thinks trump is their role model nor an icon of honesty. But we think all politicians including Biden do shitck one way or another. Biden knows how to do it via tricking ethics boards and Trump plays it dirty and unclassy.

      And we also need a good liar and crazy mad dog to rip apart DC norms. Do what it takes to rip apart fake climate change with crocidile 16 yr old tears at the UN, rip apart and discredit the failing NYT and lying media whome we know lie and report half facts. Kick the muslims where it counts. If it takes a dity guy like trump so be it. And you ain’t rmeoving him from ofice. So this will end up like muller. It will go byebye.

  6. More lies by the fake news media propagandists, there is no more details to the transcript this is it, all that maybe missing is a couple words lost in either translation or wasn’t heard, but the deranged loser dems will push this idiotic conspiracy about there being missing whole paragraphs because there is nothing here that is a problem all the President asked was a favor to look into what connections there are with ukraine and the Russian collusion hoax later after that Biden was brought up in the context of the prosecuter (as Trump wanted to be sure there would be a good prosecuter to look into Ukrainians part in the Russian collusion hoax) he had fired to protect his son.

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