Trump says he’ll release transcript of Ukraine call on Wednesday
President Trump, who is at the United Nations General Assembly, said in a pair of tweets Tuesday that he’s authorizing the release of the full transcript of his July call with the Ukrainian president.
I am currently at the United Nations representing our Country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019
“I am currently at the United Nations representing our Country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine,” he tweeted. “You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”
“You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, the president had said he hoped reporters would see the transcript of the call, but later admitted he didn’t necessarily want to release the transcript.
“I may do it because it was a very innocent call on both his part and mine,” he said Monday of releasing the transcript of the call with Zelensky.
There have been growing calls for transparency over the president’s call, which is the subject of a whistleblower complaint filed by someone in the intelligence community. The intelligence community’s inspector general (ICIG) found that the complaint was both credible and of “urgent concern.” The ICIG was supposed to turn the complaint over to the House Intelligence Committee, but the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, has declined to do so, citing the fact that it contains privileged communications. The acting DNI has also said the complaint is not a matter of urgent concern.
The president has confirmed that during the call with Zelensky, he discussed former Vice President Joe Biden and withholding foreign aid to Ukraine. He said Sunday, “The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, with largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place and largely the fact that we don’t want our people like Vice President Biden and his son [contributing] to the corruption already in the Ukraine.”
The president and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, have accused Biden of acting inappropriately by pushing Ukraine to oust then-prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, who was considered by the U.S. government and European leaders to be corrupt. Shokin was ultimately ousted by the Ukrainian parliament. He had opened an investigation into a Ukrainian natural gas company whose board members included Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son, but according to Bloomberg, the investigation was dormant when Shokin was removed.
As the White House releases the transcript, the president could in fact be meeting with Zelensky for the first time since news of the controversial call came out. He is also scheduled to address the press at the close of the U.N. General Assembly.
Moments after Mr. Trump tweeted about the impending release of the transcript, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced on Twitter the whistleblower hopes to testify before his committee.
“We have been informed by the whistleblower’s counsel that their client would like to speak to our committee and has requested guidance from the Acting DNI as to how to do so,” Schiff tweeted. “We’re in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to make an announcement at 5 p.m. Tuesday, as a growing number of the members of her caucus call for impeachment.