See below for the summary of President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, released a few minutes ago. Here are a few takeaways:
- First, as it states in the memo, “A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty “Officers and-NSC policy staff assigned to listen.and memorialize the conversation in written form as the conversation takes place.” So…basically, any journalist or news outlet that refers to this as a “transcript” is factually wrong, as it is *not* a transcript.
Second, here’s a key paragraph related to whether or not Trump should be impeached.” As David Axelrod tweets, “Holy smokes. This transcript is only deepens the problems for @realDonaldTrump. He implored the Ukrainian President to investigate the Bidens. Trump also repeatedly asked that the president speak with @RudyGiuliani and, shockingly, AG Barr, about it!”
- Note Trump’s reference to Attorney General Barr. As David Axelrod tweets, “The transcript released today is devastating, and you’d have to bend yourself in extraordinary contortions to defend it. It also implicates the AG in what is a wholly improper political mission, which is new info.” Rep. Jerry Nadler adds, “The President dragged the Attorney General into this mess. At a minimum, AG Barr must recuse himself until we get to the bottom of this matter.” And former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin says that Barr “is all over this transcript; what was his involvement…in the whole Ukraine story?” And former Bush/McCain/Kasich strategist John Weaver tweets, “Barr should resign, immediately. A special counsel must be appointed. Trump must be impeached. Giuliani needs a criminal defense attorney.”
- In sum, as Hillary Clinton – who was absolutely correct in everything she warned would happen if Trump were, god forbid, to become president, by the way – tweets, “The president of the United States has betrayed our country. That’s not a political statement—it’s a harsh reality, and we must act. He is a clear and present danger to the things that keep us strong and free. I support impeachment.” Oh, and I agree with Chris Hayes, who tweets, “The phone call is…considerably worse than I thought it would be.”