Earlier today, the White House released a transcript memo of the call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from July of this year. The call, combined with a whistleblower complaint that Congress hasn’t seen yet, prompted Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to launch an impeachment inquiry in the House against Trump.
After the transcript went live online, Trump took to Twitter to taunt Democrats about what he sees as a “perfect” call.
“Will the Democrats apologize after seeing what was said on the call with the Ukrainian President? They should, a perfect call – got them by surprise!”
Of course, the president’s many critics pointed out that the transcript does not exonerate him the way he thinks it does. The Inquistr reported earlier that many people believe that the transcript is worse than expected. During the conversation, Trump asked Zelensky for a favor, and then he talked about an inquiry into the son of Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Trump also requested that the Ukrainian president find a Democratic National Committee computer server, which he believes Ukraine still has in its possession even though the country claimed the server is lost.
Others also wondered if President Trump ever apologized for things after he was proven wrong.
“Did you apologize to the Central Park Five? Did you apologize to President Obama for lying about his birth certificate? Did you apologize when you paid a $25 million fraud settlement for Trump University? Did you apologize for lying about your hush-money payments to a porn star?” asked CNN commentator Keith Boykin.
“Will you apologize for your crimes? Dems are upholding principles and the law,” asked American screenwriter and director, David Weissman.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2019
Meanwhile, author Jeffrey Guterman reminded Trump that he reportedly called Speaker Pelosi yesterday to work something out in advance of her announcement of the impeachment inquiry. He suggested that the discussion showed that Trump is desperate because he knows he did something wrong in asking Ukraine for such a favor.
Others, like actor George Takei, asked Trump why he went to Zelensky if he had real concerns about Joe Biden’s efforts, which may have been on behalf of his son. Takei suggested that Trump should have consulted the FBI instead of soliciting help from a foreign government. Columnist Lesley Abravanel tweeted a video of now Senate Majority Leader Lindsey Graham talking about impeachment, and that a president could be removed over an abuse of power even if it wasn’t a crime.
Some, like Republican activist Scott Presler, suggested that Trump is a master chess player and that he created this controversy to lure Democrats like Pelosi into a trap ahead of the upcoming elections. Trump also tweeted a quote that said there isn’t a direct quid pro quo in the transcript.
It seems like everyone who reads the transcript comes away with a different view about what happened, and as usual, their conclusions remain colored by whatever political beliefs to which they ascribe. It does not look like this situation will be resolved swiftly with so many differing opinions on what really happened during the now-infamous phone call.