On Monday, Donald Trump told reporters that he had released an “exact transcription” of his conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelinsky, but reportedly the transcript itself states otherwise. According to Mediaite, the president was speaking with reporters on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews when he made the claim. But at the top of the transcript of the phone call, there is clear language stating that the transcript is not verbatim, but a recollection.
Trump told the press that he released an exact transcript of his conversation, and as a result, the whistleblower’s account of the call is inaccurate. Trump said, “they tried to take that conversation and make it into a big scandal.”
“It was an exact transcription of the conversation. In a nutshell, a whistleblower wrote a false narrative of the conversation,” Trump said.
However, the transcript says that the conversation may not be word-for-word because it is based on recollections as well as potentially poor telephone connections.
“CAUTION: 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.”
The phone call between Trump and Zelinsky is the focus of the House impeachment inquiry. Trump is said to have pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate his potential political opponent Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Critics claim that Trump attempted to use the power of his office to benefit himself personally and politically.
In the past, Trump has argued that the whistleblower who brought the conversation to light has misconstrued his words and that the transcript of the conversation reveals his innocence.
"I want to thank the soldiers and sailors, airmen, and Marines involved in last night's operation. You are the very best there is anywhere in the world, no matter where you go, there is nobody even close." - @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/QTLvOn0jxJ— Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) October 27, 2019
During the same press scrum, Trump was asked if he was worried that House Leader Nancy Pelosi couldn’t be trusted with sensitive information, such as the recent raid that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Trump reportedly kept impeachment committee chairman Adam Schiff and Pelosi in the dark about the raid.
Trump clarified that the reporter was asking why Trump decided to keep the information from the Congressional leaders because Schiff is a “leaker.”
“I know that we all know that. I watched Adam Schiff leak. He is a corrupt politician,” Trump said.
Trump has frequently criticized Schiff, recently calling the Democrat a “very bad guy.”