ALL NEWS

White House releases rough transcript of Trump’s first Ukraine call

Nov 15, 2019, 8:16 AM

...

(CNN) — The White House released a rough transcript of President Donald Trump’s first phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart as Friday’s impeachment hearing was getting underway.

The congratulatory conversation contained few of the problematic requests that a later July phone call did. But it did show Trump eager to engage Volodymyr Zelensky, whom he would later ask to investigate his political rivals.

“When you’re settled in and ready, I’d like to invite you to the White House. We’ll have a lot of things to talk about, but we’re with you all the way,” Trump said in the April call.

The release of the transcript came a month-and-a-half after Trump first promised to make it public. He told reporters in September he was eager to release it, believing it would bolster his claims of innocence as an impeachment inquiry was speeding up.

Indeed, the call contains mostly pleasantries from Trump and Zelensky about the recent Ukrainian election.

“I think you will do a great job. I have many friends in Ukraine who know you and like you,” Trump said. “I have many friends from Ukraine and they think — frankly — expected you to win. And it’ s really an amazing thing that you’ve done.”

The tone is friendlier than the July conversation, during which Trump asked Zelensky to launch investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 election.

After Zelensky praises the Ukrainian people, Trump mentions his onetime ownership of the Miss Universe franchise.

“When I owned Miss Universe, they always had great people. Ukraine was always very well represented,” Trump said.

And when Zelensky invites Trump to his inauguration, Trump says he’ll dispatch someone at “a very, very high level.” Vice President Mike Pence was originally tapped to attend, but later was replaced by Energy Secretary Rick Perry at Trump’s behest.

There is a notable omission.

Trump never mentions corruption, despite an official White House readout distributed at the time saying Trump expressed a commitment to working together to “root out corruption.”

And the classification markings reflect a difference in how the April and July calls were handled. The first call was marked “Unclassified” and “for official use only.” The second call was classified as “Secret.”

After concerns were raised about the July call, White House lawyers ordered the transcript be placed in a highly classified server to avoid leaks.

The April document, which has been circulating in the White House, has been the subject of debate over the last month. Internal disputes, political maneuvering and diplomatic differences complicated its rollout, people familiar with the matter said.

Trump first raised the prospect of releasing the log of an April phone call with Zelensky on September 25, insisting it would help reenforce his innocence in the then-nascent impeachment crisis. He said at the time that Pence’s phone conversations should also be made public.

Ever since, White House advisers have debated the wisdom of releasing additional conversations with Zelensky after a transcript of Trump’s July phone call failed to quiet allegations he was pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

Trump said last weekend he would probably release the transcript on Tuesday. Tuesday came and went, and he announced on Wednesday the transcript would be released Thursday.

On Thursday morning, a White House official said timing of the release was “up in the air.”

Even though the additional phone calls are not seen as troubling inside the White House, some officials view releasing any additional information as risky. They believe Democrats will find a way to weaponize the transcripts, and are wary of providing any more fuel to the impeachment fire. And even some officials not aligned with Trump see a dangerous precedent in releasing transcripts of a president’s conversations with foreign leaders.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

Washington Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy, right, lands a punch on Carolina Hurricanes left wing ...

STEPHEN WHYNO AP Hockey Writer

NHL fighting is down across the league but not going anywhere

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said fighting has a place in keeping down the temperature of games,

7 hours ago

FILE: Aerial photo of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virgina. The U.S. Army is slashing the size of its...

LOLITA C. BALDOR Associated Press

US Army is slashing thousands of posts in major revamp to prepare for future wars

The cuts include jobs related to counter-insurgency that swelled during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars but are not needed as much today.

8 hours ago

A woman found unresponsive by police in Box Elder Creek was pronounced dead at a hospital on Tuesda...

Simone Seikaly

Woman found unresponsive in Box Elder Creek pronounced dead

Brigham City police were investigating a possible missing person when they said they found a body in Box Elder Creek

12 hours ago

A Utah Judge ruled that the Utah Attorney General’s Office must release his schedule in response ...

Daniella Rivera and Annie Knox

Judge sides with KSL, orders release of Utah attorney general’s calendar

The victory for the news organization is the culmination of a public records fight that dragged on for more than a year.

12 hours ago

FILE: Spectators watch as the Artemis I uncrewed lunar rocket lifts off at NASA's Kennedy Space Cen...

Don Brinkerhoff

Utah company completes solid rocket boosters for NASA’s Artemis

Northrup Grumman says the Arrtemis rocket boosters can carry nearly five metric tons more than the previous boosters. 

12 hours ago

The new West Davis Highway in Davis County on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024. The new 16-mile, four-lane divi...

Tim Vandenack

West Davis Highway gets high marks after 7 weeks; noise still an issue for some

The new 16-mile corridor is a divided, four-lane, limited-access roadway meant in part to ease congestion along I-15.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

White House releases rough transcript of Trump’s first Ukraine call