As promised, President Donald Trump’s administration released the summary of the July 25 phone call in which Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the son of his chief political rival and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden.
The release came one day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) launched an official impeachment inquiry after months of hesitation.
The White House rushed to spin the phone call in their favor, but they may have been too hasty: they accidentally sent their talking points to House Democrats.
Hmmm… The White House just sent its talking points on Ukraine to House Democrats.
Here are some screenshots, per source. pic.twitter.com/VvNAaqKP3D
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) September 25, 2019
The talking points—which spell Zelensky’s name incorrectly throughout the document—falsely claim that the “real scandal” is the unsupported claim that Biden intervened in the investigation of an energy firm on which Biden’s son was a board member. The memo also falsely claims that there was no mention of the $391 million dollar aid package allotted for Ukraine, saying:
“[T]here is no mention of the aid package to Ukraine at all.”
On the next page it contradicts itself:
“Assistance to Ukraine was mentioned by President Trump only to stress how much the United States is doing and how other countries, like Germany, need to do their fair share.”
Astoundingly, both claims are false.
In the transcript, Trump says “we do a lot for Ukraine,” and President Zelensky thanks Trump for the United States’ “great support in the area of defense.” Trump then asks for a favor, bringing up Hillary Clinton’s emails, the Mueller investigation, and—finally—Biden.
Trump does make the claim to Zelensky that Germany and the European Union do “nothing” for Ukraine. In reality, Germany pays four times more per capita than the United States to Ukraine in aid. European Union aid to Ukraine is roughly 16 times more than that of the U.S.
Deepening the self-own, the White House attempted to “recall” the mistaken email.
The White House is trying to “recall” the talking points they sent to democrats. pic.twitter.com/Bz5b23FmzT
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) September 25, 2019
But the damage was done.
Good thing they weren't our nuclear codes, eh?
— MeThePeople 🇺🇲 (@JaneDone15) September 25, 2019
As has been said many times, the one thing keeping us from having already plunged into full on authoritarian hellscape? Utter bumbling incompetence.
We as a nation must reform and re-work our structures after this horrendous object lesson in the failure of 'norms' to rule us.
— Resolve.Action.Love (@Snowman55403) September 25, 2019
I mean, who in the White House actually thought "recalling" that document would actually WORK?!
— Kevin Bailey (@KevBaile) September 25, 2019
The email to recall came about an hour after the initial talking points were sent. The internet had immortalized them by then.
And it didn’t take long for Fox News to digest and regurgitate them for air.
All of the Trump White House's Ukraine talking points — designed to cast doubt on news reports — were explicitly pushed by Fox News following the release of the call transcript. https://t.co/aSSHJuH3ZL
— Media Matters (@mmfa) September 25, 2019
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