Sep 30, 2019

Misleading Trump tweet claims Ukraine whistleblower complaint "not holding up"

President Trump tweeted Monday that the Ukraine whistleblower's complaint is "mostly" about his call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and that its account of the call is "a fraud" — 2 claims disproven by both the complaint itself and the memo of the call released by the White House.

"The Fake Whistleblower complaint is not holding up. It is mostly about the call to the Ukrainian President which, in the name of transparency, I immediately released to Congress & the public. The Whistleblower knew almost nothing, its 2ND HAND description of the call is a fraud!"
Reality check

The call only encompasses one of four sections of the whistleblower's complaint. The other sections allege that the Trump administration tried to hide Trump's call with Zelensky — and others like it — in a separate computer system for classified information and discuss the events leading up to the July 25 Zelensky call.

The complaint's section about the call is sourced to "multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call." It also includes 3 specific allegations about the call:

  1. Trump asked Zelensky to investigate the business dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in Ukraine.
  2. Trump asked Zelensky for help locating servers that could indicate that Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election actually originated in Ukraine, an allegation that originated in far-right conspiracy theories.
  3. Trump said that Zelensky should meet or speak with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr to discuss these matters further.

Despite not having firsthand knowledge of the call, these 3 claims in the whistleblower's complaint were verified by the White House's release of the memo summarizing the Trump-Zelensky call.

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Trump misrepresents whistleblower complaint in misleading tweet

President Trump tweeted Wednesday that the Ukraine whistleblower claimed his July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was "crazy, frightening, and completely lacking in substance" — a claim disproven by the whistleblower's complaint.

"The so-called Whistleblower, before knowing I was going to release the exact Transcript, stated that my call with the Ukrainian President was 'crazy, frightening, and completely lacking in substance related to national security.' This is a very big Lie. Read the Transcript!"
Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019

Trump wants to interview whistleblower despite federal protections

President Trump tweeted Tuesday that he wants to interview and "learn everything about" the Ukraine whistleblower, despite protections guaranteed under federal law.

"So if the so-called 'Whistleblower' has all second hand information, and almost everything he has said about my 'perfect' call with the Ukrainian President is wrong (much to the embarrassment of Pelosi & Schiff), why aren’t we entitled to interview & learn everything about the Whistleblower, and also the person who gave all of the false information to him.
Go deeperArrowOct 1, 2019

Trump-Ukraine scandal: The key players, dates and documents

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The House's impeachment inquiry has been driven forward by new disclosures of what exactly President Trump wanted the government of Ukraine to do — revealed in 3 key documents, but nonetheless distorted and disputed along the way.

We've gathered the key players, events and disclosures of the Trump-Ukraine saga in one place to clear up what's happened so far and examine where we go from here.

Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019