Trump actually thought the ‘transcript’ would help

With the whistleblower getting ready to go before Congress, his Director of National Intelligence testifying tomorrow, and Pelosi dropping the impeachment bomb last night, I guess Trump felt as though he had to do something, so, this morning, he released a summary of a call he had with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, back on July 25. [It’s being called a transcript, but it’s a five-page summary of what we’re told was a half-hour call.] Well, if the intention was to demonstrate that the Democrats were making a mountain out of a molehill, it didn’t exactly work. The summary of the call was much more damning than most of us expected, and it really makes you wonder how much worse the actual complaint submitted by the whistleblower must be. [The administration is required by law to submit the whistleblower’s complaint to the Congressional intelligence committees. Thus far, they’ve refused, however, to do that. Instead, they shared this summary of one call between Trump and Zelensky.]

You can read the whole thing by following the above link, but here’s the crux of it… Donald Trump tells Zelensky that “The United States has been very, very good to Ukraine”, notes that Ukraine hasn’t exactly been reciprocating, and, then, like a mob boss, says “I would like you to do us a favor.” And, at this point, Donald Trump tells Zelensky that his government should be investigating Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and, if you can believe it, Hillary Clinton’s email server.

There are a bunch of different things we could discuss at this point, but I’d like to focus on the role of Attorney General William Barr, who Trump notes several times in his call with Zelensky… Trump asks Zelensky if he’ll talk with Barr and Giuliani, and says that they’ll be in touch with him to discuss the Biden investigation. “Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man,” Trump says. “I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General… There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son… whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great… if you can look into it.”

First, Barr’s involvement brings to mind this exchange he had with Kamala Harris on May 1, when he refused to answer whether or not the President had ever asked him to investigate an American citizen. I guess we now know why he hemmed and hawed the way he did.

And, second, it’s curious that it’s now Barr’s Department of Justice that’s been keeping the whistleblower’s complaint from Congress, saying that it doesn’t warrant investigation, in spite of the fact that the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community (who happens to be a Trump appointee) has called the complaint both “credible” and “urgent”. One would think, as Barr is clearly involved in this, he probably shouldn’t be the one making the call as to whether or not the activities outlined are illegal, violated campaign finance law, warrant investigation, etc.

For what it’s worth, the House and Senate Intelligence Committees were apparently sent the whistleblower’s complaint earlier this evening. Republican Senator Ben Sasse, who read the complaint, had the following to say: “Really troubling things here. Republicans ought not just circle the wagons, and democrats ought not have been using words like impeachment before they knew anything about the actual substance.” So, as bad as the White House summary of the Zelensky call was, it looks like things are about to get a whole lot worse. When it’s a Republican saying that this is “really troubling”, and that conservatives should think twice about “circling the wagons” around Trump, I’d say that’s not a very good sign for the President, even if the Republican in question is Ben Sasse.

Oh, and speaking of Republicans beginning to stand up to Trump, it sounds as though the President’s acting Director of National Intelligence may have almost resigned today over concerns that the administration may attempt to force him to stonewall Congress during his testimony tomorrow. If true, this could mean that he’s made up his mind not to go down with the ship. And, if is, I’d like to hear what he has to tell the members of the House Intelligence Committee about why, instead of bringing them the whistleblower’s complaint directly, as required by law, he took it to Barr. Could it be that someone higher up instructed him to do that?

One last thing… It’s probably also worth noting, as we’re discussing Republicans turning on one another, that a very subdued Donald Trump today told reporters that they “should ask for” Mike Pence’s conversations with Ukraine.

It certainly feels as though we’re headed for a series finale, doesn’t it?

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25 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted September 25, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Rachel Maddow is focusing on Barr too.

    https://www.politicususa.com/2019/09/25/rachel-maddow-william-barr-ukraine.html

  2. iRobert
    Posted September 25, 2019 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    We knew the chaos would come to a boil eventually. This is getting interesting.

  3. John Brown
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Ruskie stooge gonna stooge. Getting one last plug in for pootin on his favorite punching bag, Ukraine.

    No doubt the mania exhibiting fascist bootlickers will hyperpost all day about how agent Orange has us right where he wants us. Thats the thing about fascists, they know once idiots buy into the lie they’re likely to go to the grave repeating that lie rather than admit they got suckered..

    “Its easier to fool HW than to convince him he’s been fooled” – Mark Twain

  4. Kim
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Washington Post: ”The complaint also alleges a pattern of obfuscation at the White House, in which officials moved the records of some of Trump’s communications with foreign officials onto a separate computer network from where they are normally stored…”

  5. Anonymous
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    SCHIFF after reading whistleblower complaint:

    “I found the allegations deeply disturbing. I also found them very credible. I can understand why the IG found them credible …The complaint was very well written and certainly provides information for the committee to follow up…”

  6. iRobert
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    It’s amazing to me that anybody trusts transcripts. I wonder if the actual recording will ever be heard publicly.

  7. iRobert
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Now the whistleblower complaint has been released.

  8. iRobert
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Trump teeeting in all caps:

    “THE DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO DESTROY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND ALL THAT IT STANDS FOR. STICK TOGETHER, PLAY THEIR GAME, AND FIGHT HARD REPUBLICANS. OUR COUNTRY IS AT STAKE!”

  9. iRobert
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    DNI writes multiple “politically sensitive” docs put into code word system to avoid them being leaked/released.

  10. dogmatic dolt
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Aloha, copy of whistle-blower complaint

    https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/20190812_-_whistleblower_complaint_unclass.pdf

  11. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I’m scared.

  12. iRobert
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    “Integrity can not be taken but only given away…”
    – frmr SOCOM Adm Maguire

  13. dogmatic dolt
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Aloha, no one here talks much about Julian, but he is also a potential nominee.

    Julián Castro

    @JulianCastro

    The #WhistleblowerComplaint has exposed a criminal effort to extort political dirtywork from a foreign government, and a massive cover-up orchestrated by the White House.

    It’s increasingly clear that Trump is not only unfit for office—he’s an active national security threat.

  14. Bob
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    And this idiot throws Pence under the bus just for fun. They are toast.

  15. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    You say I am in fantasy land! Throwing under the bus!!! Is that what you were led to believe or did you actually hear what he said? Either way you are fucked, aren’t you?

    “I think you should ask for Vice President Pence’s conversation, because he had a couple of conversations also,” Trump said at a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “I could save you a lot of time. They were all perfect. Nothing was mentioned of any import other than congratulations.”

    “The word is they’re going to ask for the first phone conversation,” Trump said at the news conference. “You can have it anytime you need it. And also Mike Pence’s conversations, which were, I think, one or two of them. They were perfect. They were all perfect.”

  16. Bob
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I will hereby rescind my original feeling that Elizabeth Warren would be a big loser in a general election. She has shown remarkable strength and smart campaigning skills. She also can beat the remarkably unremarkable Mitt Romney, the likely boobie-prize republican nominee getting ready to step in for this disgraced criminal administration. Nobody likes Mitt very much and Trumpies will boycott the election. Pocahontas 2020

  17. iRobert
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Pence deserved it.

  18. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I love it: Bizarro world antics by Bob. Yeah, he really threw him under there!

    “I think you should ask for Vice President Pence’s conversation, because he had a couple of conversations also,” Trump said at a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “I could save you a lot of time. They were all perfect. Nothing was mentioned of any import other than congratulations.”

    “The word is they’re going to ask for the first phone conversation,” Trump said at the news conference. “You can have it anytime you need it. And also Mike Pence’s conversations, which were, I think, one or two of them. They were perfect. They were all perfect.”

  19. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I do not trust Pence by the way. It could easily be a case of keep your enemies closer. Word is his best friend was on a list of pedophiles possessed by Mike Flynn. Did Pence have something to do with Flynn’s removal? If the Vice President is deep in the swamp and goes down with the rest of them it would demonstrate that the sweeping tide of justice is occurring not “because they are Trump’s political opponents” but because they are criminals, plain and simple.

  20. Bob
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    The jig is up Pudlord. Last days. Get your cyanide caplets, German Shepherd, halfwit cousin lover and stroke your lone ball for one last bunker bash.

  21. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    You’ve been saying that for years and nothing has panned out. Face reality. This little episode was a hail mary to try to Get Trump before they get gotten for every illegal thing they have done and by the book, not this phony loser shit the anti-Trumpers do. Very obviously it’s another L for your team and a big W for mine as usual.

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    The woman rep from Florida’s line of questioning re Trump personally initiating the withdrawal of funding to Ukraine just days before the call was on point and is worth mentioning. Too few of the reps sound as though they are prosecutor a case v making political statements. The political statements are gratifying to each base but also largely useless in terms of educating the public or learning anything.

  23. iRobert
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    The whistleblower is a CIA agent assigned to the White House.

  24. Sad
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Maybe they all misunderstood Q and the target was the Trumpster.

  25. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    If CIA then Q already has cover. It’s a deep state conspiracy!

One Trackback

  1. By China, if you’re listening… on October 3, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    […] that Trump hd attempted to coerce the Ukrainians into helping him in the campaign abasing Biden, as it’s spelled out pretty much word for word in the official White House memorandum of Trump&#82…, but its one thing to read the transcript, and it’s another to hear the man, in his own […]

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