Trump's claims he released a 'word for word' transcript of his Ukraine call

Trump's claims he released a 'word for word' transcript of his Ukraine call
President Donald J. Trump speaks with reporters prior to his bilateral meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald Trump claimed Wednesday afternoon that the White House last month released an "exact transcript" of his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, raising more questions about the still-unfolding scandal.


When the White House released on September 25 a readout of the conversion, it called the document a "memo," and many observers said it likely did not capture the full conversation. The whistleblower has also asserted that, in a break from the norm, the official transcript was put in a classified system.

Trump, speaking to press alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinistö Wednesday, said the transcription was done "by very, very talented people, word for word, comma for comma."

Journalist Natasha Bertrand, on Twitter, said that if it was in fact a "transcript" the White House released, it is "unclear why the White House wouldn't characterize it as such."

Lawyer Neal Katya said the president's comments prompted questions including, "Where are the stenographer notes?"

A day before the "off the rails" press conference, Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) suggested parts of the conversation between Trump and Zelensky were not released.

"I had two staff members from my office the other day read it aloud. And we timed it," King told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "They read it in normal speaking pace. It took them 10 minutes and 40 seconds. The phone call was 30 minutes," he said, acknowledging that a translator may have accounted for some of the time.

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