Trump Considers Releasing Transcript of Call With Ukraine

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Posted: Sep 23, 2019 7:30 AM
Trump Considers Releasing Transcript of Call With Ukraine

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Trump said he is considering releasing a transcript of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after reports that he allegedly tried to pressure Zelensky to investigate accusations against the Biden family.

“We’ll make a determination about how to release it, releasing it, saying what we said,” the president told reporters on Sunday. “It was an absolutely perfect conversation. The problem is, when you’re speaking to foreign leaders, you don’t want foreign leaders to feel that they shouldn’t be speaking openly and good.”

He continued: “And the same thing with an American president. You want them to be able to express themselves without knowing that every single word was going to be going out and going out all over the world.”

He said he’d “talk” about releasing details about the call, noting “you have to be a little bit shy about doing that.” 

Earlier in the day, however, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said releasing details about the call would not be appropriate “except in the most extreme circumstances.” 

"There’s no evidence that that would be appropriate at this point," he added.

The new details came after The Washington Post reported that Trump’s call with a foreign leader had been the subject of a whistleblower complaint. That complaint has dominated the recent news cycle and generated massive scrutiny among congressional Democrats, who have unsuccessfully pressed the Trump administration to release information about it to lawmakers.

Trump has defended the call, saying it was “perfect” and not improper and deriding the whistleblower, who has remained anonymous, as “partisan” while acknowledging he doesn’t know the person’s identity.

Speaking to reporters earlier Sunday, Trump appeared to confirm that he discussed Biden in the phone call with Zelensky but said the conversation did not involve any kind of quid pro quo. The call came at a time when the administration was reviewing military aid to Ukraine, and Democrats have questioned whether Trump had withheld the aid as part of an effort to press for the Biden investigation. (The Hill)

Important to note, however, is that the whistleblower complaint was not based on first-hand knowledge of the call.

President Trump weighed in on Twitter, saying the media are overlooking the real story.