One of the big talking points (lies) coming from Team Trump is that the whistleblower complaint shows that the whistleblower didn’t know what he or she was talking about. It’s all secondhand, and the White House “transcript” of the Ukraine call disproves it, they claim. Trump has tweeted, “The Whistleblower knew almost nothing, its 2ND HAND description of the call is a fraud,” while useless son No. 2 Eric has gone on Fox News to make the same claim … they’re betting a lot on it. Of course, it’s a huge lie.
Conveniently, the whistleblower complaint and the White House version of the call are both in writing, so let’s just see how that one holds up, line by line.
Whistleblower: “According to the White House officials who had direct knowledge of the call, the President pressured Mr. Zelenskyy to, inter alia: initiate or continue an investigation into the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.”
Trump, according to the White House summary of the call: “The other thing, 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. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it ... It sounds horrible to me.”
Whistleblower: Trump’s pressure on Zelensky included an ask for him to “assist in purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election originated in Ukraine, with a specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and examined by the U.S. cyber security firm Crowdstrike, which initially reported that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC’s networks in 2016.”
Trump, per the White House: “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike ... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has.it [...] Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it if that's possible.”
Whistleblower: Trump also pressured Zelensky to “meet or speak with two people the President named explicitly as his personal envoys on these matters, Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr, to whom the President referred multiple times in tandem.”
Trump: “Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General.” And also, “I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it.” And also, “I will tell Rudy and Attorney General Barr to call.” (That is multiple times in tandem, to be clear.)
Whistleblower: “The President also praised Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko, and suggested that Mr. Zelenskyy might want to keep him in his position.”
Trump: “Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved.”
So: The whistleblower said Trump put pressure on Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son. Trump told Zelensky to look into whether Biden stopped his son from being prosecuted, which “sounds horrible to me.” The whistleblower said that Trump put pressure on Zelensky to show that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 elections. Trump did exactly that, saying that “it’s very important that you do it.” The whistleblower said that Trump mentioned Giuliani and Barr “multiple times in tandem,” which he did. The whistleblower said that Trump praised Lutsenko, which he did.
Point by point, the whistleblower was accurate. Secondhand, yes, and admittedly so, but dead-on accurate. Trump and his defenders are using this false talking point and counting on the public not to have put the official call summary and the whistleblower complaint next to each other. Because the second you do, the whistleblower’s credibility skyrockets. You don’t have to believe me on this one. Go read them yourselves.
White House summary of Trump-Zelensky call.