Conway Hands CNN Host Ukraine Transcript: Circle The Quid Pro Quo

Posted: Nov 03, 2019 11:03 AM

Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to President Donald Trump, appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday to discuss the Ukraine saga and whether or not quid pro quo took place. Conway used the opportunity to punch back at the notion the quid pro quo took place and reminded folks that former Vice President Joe Biden's past actions are "fair game."

"Let’s just start with the basics. The President of the United States asked a foreign power to investigate a top political rival. We read it in the summary of the July 25th call. We also him do it in public. Was that appropriate?" Bash asked right off the bat.

"Well, I have the transcript of the call right here and I'd like you to show me where that is," Conway replied. "And you can circle where there's a quid pro quo –"

"No, I’m not asking about –" Bash interjected. 

"– where the president mentions holding up aid. The Ukrainian president has said he didn’t realize any aid was being held up but he felt no pressure," Conway explained. "This phone call is about two presidents of respected countries talking about how they got elected. The president of the Ukraine said 'I followed after you in draining the swamp."

Bash reread part of the transcript from the July 25th call where Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden for canning the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company Hunter Biden was sitting on the board of directors of, despite having no natural gas experience.

"This is the president asking another foreign leader to look into a man who is the leading candidate to be his political rival. You don’t have to say 2020 for it to be clear," Bash said.

Conway completely disagreed with Bash's assessment.

"He [Trump] asked him [Zelensky] to investigate what happened when Joe Biden, as vice president of the United States, Dana, stopped a prosecution of a company where his son who — as his son admitted – only got the jobs because of his last name, only got the contracts because of his last name," Conway replied. "He’s talking about 2016, 2020 and respectfully, Joe Biden is not his main political rival. Joe Biden was in Iowa yesterday and  he was Ohio."

According to the president's counselor, it's "fair game" to ask whether or not Hunter Biden "made money" as a result of his father's political connections.

We had these conversations six weeks ago when Nancy Pelosi jumped the gun before she read the transcript of the call. [She] believed the false reporting that there were eight quid pro quo requests in the transcript. They are not there, believe that president said he was holding up aid. Not there. Believe the president said he wanted a 2020 rival investigated. Not there," Conway said. "Joe Biden is not insulated from his past actions just because he’s running for president. If anything the scrutiny should be higher."

The Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump the night before the White House released the transcript of his call Zelensky. The transcript showed no quid pro quo. 

Trump asked Zelensky to look into the Biden's business dealings with Ukraine. While then-Vice President Joe Biden was handling international relations with Ukraine on behalf of the Obama administration, his son, Hunter, was being paid $50,000 a month to sit on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma, despite having no natural energy experience. Hunter later admitted that he wouldn't have had the position if it wasn't for his last name.