1:30 PM Update: There may be cracks in the Republican party regarding the now reveled transcripts. A top Senate GOP aide said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is expecting Wednesday’s closed-door lunch to be eventful and possibly tense as Republicans react to the transcript and debate their next step.
It remains troubling in the extreme. It’s deeply troubling,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told reporters Wednesday.
MSN reports Three Senate GOP aides said Wednesday that their bosses were grousing and frustrated by the White House’s decision and the sense that Republican lawmakers were being forced into the difficult position of defending Trump while contending with what many see as an alarming or at least problematic transcript.
On the flip side, others call it hot air. “Wow. Impeachment over this?” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted. “What a nothing (non-quid pro quo) burger.”
10:00 AM Update: Transcript of the phone call were released. Fox reports, the transcript, declassified by Trump a day earlier, indicates the call – which Trump made from the White House residence — took place July 25 from 9:03 a.m. to 9:33 a.m. It begins with the president congratulating Zelensky on his election victory, before Trump eventually broaches the subject former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump said in the phone call. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it…It sounds horrible to me.”
Additionally, Nancy Pelosi called on impeachment hearings to begin. Pelosi said Trump’s actions would mark a “betrayal of his oath of office” and declared, “No one is above the law.”
According to a report from Politico, the pressure may have added to the White House’s decision to release the transcript of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president, the full whistleblower complaint, and the Director of National Intelligence Inspector General’s report by the end of the week. Before the impeachment proceedings and the passage of the resolution, Trump was only planning to release the transcript.
Maybe the whistle-blower complaint isn’t all that bad politically, and only personally embarrassing to the president? Conversely, maybe it’s so bad that realpolitik McConnell is prepared for a Pence presidency? It certainly doesn’t jive with the expected move from the Senate Majority Leader — to demand the transcript Trump promised and attempt to keep the whistle-blower’s report private.
Interestingly, Tucker Carlson broke down the latest impeachment talk, implying it’s all ‘hot air’ Watch HERE
As reported on GreaterLakewood, a whistleblower complaint about President Trump made by an intelligence official centers on Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter, which has set off a struggle between Congress and the executive branch.
The complaint involved communications with a foreign leader and a “promise” that Trump allegedly made, which was so alarming that a U.S. intelligence official who had worked at the White House went to the inspector general of the intelligence community, two former U.S. officials said.
The AP reported, the Trump administration is keeping Congress from even learning what exactly the whistleblower is alleging, but the intelligence community’s inspector general said the matter involves the “most significant” responsibilities of intelligence leadership. A lawmaker said the complaint was “based on a series of events.”
Now, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff suggested that the House may have “crossed the Rubicon” as new revelations about Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky emerged in media reports. Until now leadership in the Democrat-controlled House has been ambiguous about whether it is pursuing an impeachment investigation against the president, rollcall reports.
Speaking with reporters at the UN Trump said “It’s very important to talk about corruption. If you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?” Adding, “It’s very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption.”
But later Monday, Trump flatly denied holding up the U.S. aid package in exchange for a promise for an investigation into the Bidens. “I did not make a statement that you have to do this or I won’t give you aid,” he told reporters.
Some Republicans, including Trump himself, have called for the release of the transcript of his phone call with Zelensky. Reports have said the whistleblower complaint, which the Intelligence Community inspector general found to be “credible” and “urgent,” relates to Trump’s call with Zelensky, though House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes warned that there is no confirmation yet that it actually has anything to do with Ukraine.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio said, “I don’t think he should have done it, but that’s a far cry from what some people around here are claiming to know as fact, that frankly, we don’t know as fact.”
However, Mitt Romney went much further calling for the Trump administration to give Congress the transcript of the call telling reporters on Monday that it is “very important that the transcript and potentially as well the whistleblower come forward.”
In response, Trump made fun of Romney’s loss to Obama, Watch: