A Bit of Backstory

November 8, 2019 11:28 a.m.

President Trump made a big show last hour that he may be willing to release a transcript of a “second” call with President Zelensky of Ukraine. He said Congress is “clamoring” for it and he may agree to release it. Just to explain the backstory: This appears to be the brief congratulatory call Trump made to Zelensky in April after he was elected President. (It actually precedes the July 25th call; so it’s actually the first.) It’s come up in various depositions. All evidence suggests it was brief, cordial and unobjectionable. No one has been clamoring for it. I don’t think investigators have even asked for it. This seems to be a simple effort to make a show of transparency out of something that will look innocuous once it’s released. Perhaps it’s also an attempt to have one cordial “perfect” transcript floating around for people who haven’t been following the details. Just more distraction.

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