Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, said he believes that there is about 20 minutes of missing conversation in the summary transcript of a call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The White House released the transcript last week following allegations a whistleblower leveled against the U.S. president.
King made the comments on a Tuesday night appearance on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360. King said he reached the conclusion following the report from the whistleblower, which was released on Thursday, the day after the summarized transcript by the White House. The independent senator told Cooper that his staff read the released transcript between Trump and Zelensky, which took about 10 minutes. The official whistleblower complaint, filed August 12, claimed that the call between the two foreign leaders lasted about 30 minutes.
Still, King acknowledged that the 20 unaccounted for minutes could have been taken up by a translator facilitating the call between Trump and Zelensky.
“But the president of the Ukraine speaks English,” King added Tuesday. “If there was no translator that raises a question of what’s in the other 20 minutes of that discussion.”
But as Newsweek noted, the president of Ukraine is not fluent in English, and though his skills in his non-native language have improved recently, a translator was likely still present on the call.
Sen. Angus King says his staffers read aloud the transcript released by the WH of the conversation between Trump & Ukraine’s president and it lasted 10min. 40sec. but the call lasted 30min.
“If there was no translator…what’s in the other 20min. of that discussion?” he asked. pic.twitter.com/gLlXCDdjtY
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) October 2, 2019
As The Inquisitr has previously reported, Trump has denied claims of any wrongdoing on the call between himself and Zelensky. The conversation occurred on July 25, just one day after testimony by former special counsel Robert Mueller before Congress about his findings into Russian interference of the 2016 election.
In the summarized transcript released by the White House, Trump asks the Ukrainian leader for a “favor” before mentioning two purported conspiracies, one relating to the 2016 election and another relating to an investigation into one of his 2020 Democratic rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden. Despite the fact that the released transcript matches many of the details found in the whistleblower complaint, Trump and his allies have insisted that the two documents to do not match.
The 45th president has taken particular aim against Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and will be responsible for a large portion of the House’s impeachment inquiry into Trump. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, announced the inquiry last week. The president has on multiple occasions lashed out at Schiff on Twitter, accusing the California Democrat of treason for a statement he made before Congress that summarized the president’s call with Ukraine. Schiff has since admitted that his depiction of the call was meant to be taken as a parody and not a verbatim representation of the call. Still, Trump has asked why charges have yet to be brought up against the lawmaker.
King told CNN’s Cooper that he believed the president did not understand the definition of treason.
The independent said he believed Trump thinks that “criticism of him is treason against the United States. That’s not true. That’s just not the way it works.”