After Donald Trump appeared to pressure Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden using military aid as leverage, former Obama adviser Susan Rice claims that the decision of the president’s White House to stash the transcript of the call on a secure server was intended to hide it from the view of government officials, Breitbart reports.
According to Rice, the transcript was placed on a “very highly sensitive, highly compartmentalized server” that is accessible by only a select few members of the U.S. government. She also addressed the whistleblower’s accusations that Trump was attempted to bribe Ukraine to an investigation into the Bidens.
“It’s rare that a presidential conversation would be classified to that highest level. It’s not impossible. It’s very rare. Even when they are two leaders discussing classified information. Here’s a case where there was nothing classified and it was moved to the most secure, sensitive server,” Rice said.
When asked if the Obama administration ever kept files on a secure server, Rice reportedly said only in cases where the contents of the call were classified.
According to Trump, he was not attempting to bribe Zelensky during the controversial phone call, pointing to Zelensky’s subsequent claim that he did not feel pressured by Trump’s words.
“The Whistleblower’s complaint is completely different and at odds from my actual conversation with the new President of Ukraine,” Trump tweeted Saturday.
Oh no! Here's President Obama in a SCIF while that former National Security Advisor Susan Rice listens in on his call! Spy! pic.twitter.com/nJaWx4TEDJ
— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) September 23, 2019
Trump continued his Twitter tirade on Sunday. He accused House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of treason and expressed his desire to meet the White House whistleblower, whom he claims has twisted his conversation with Zelensky into a narrative that is inaccurate. He also said he wants to meet the person who supplied the whistleblower with the damaging information and accused them of being a spy.
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro addressed the transcript of Trump’s Ukraine call, suggesting that its contents will be perceived as evidence of bribery to some and as innocuous to others.
“The interpretation will be a complete Rorschach test. If you see Trump as a calculating gangster, this reads like a veiled quid pro quo, he tweeted.
Conversely, Shapiro added that people who see Trump as a “fragmentary thinker” who tends to blurt things out almost nonsensically will view his mention of military aid — allegedly to bribe Zelensky — as more of a random thought that was running through his head.
Regardless, Shapiro admitted that Trump’s behavior during the call was “bad” and not appropriate.