In the media’s efforts to tie President Donald Trump with its latest conspiracy theory, CNN skipped an entire section of the released and unredacted transcript of a phone call to charge Trump with requesting a favor he never asked for.
Below is text from the transcript of the July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the center of the latest media outrage cycle.
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. There are a lot of things that went on the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you and your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you said yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.
The transcript that CNN read on air, however, connects the word “favor” in this section with Trump 540 words later asking the Ukrainian leader to look into former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s questionable business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company. Hunter sat on the board of the company for $50,000 a month while, as Joe Biden bragged in 2018 on camera, his dad put pressure on the Ukrainian government to end a corruption probe into the company.
CNN just skipped right over it on air earlier this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/1cirnrMglW
— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) September 25, 2019
Here’s the transcript has reported by CNN: “I would like you to do us a favor… 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.”
MSNBC’s Katy Tur made the same omission.
MSNBC's @KatyTurNBC did it too.
Absolutely despicable. pic.twitter.com/EFlCO9lz7m
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) September 25, 2019
“Will you do me a favor and investigate Vice President Biden’s son? Will you do me a favor and get involved in the 2020 election? Vice President Biden is my chief political opponent,” Tur said.
National Public Radio (NPR) also skipped over more than 500 words of the transcript to tie “favor” to the later part of the conversation mentioning Biden, all to suggest Trump demanded foreign meddling in the U.S. election.
The stunning omissions come as Democrats are jumping on an uncorroborated complaint from an anonymous “whistleblower” alleging Trump urged the Ukrainian president to investigate American political opponents. The White House released the fully unredacted version of the July phone call in question today. It contradicted the complaint, revealing no quid pro quo with the Ukrainian government as the hearsay accusations claimed.
The intelligence inspector general had rated the hearsay complaint “credible” and “urgent,” but other agencies refused to move them up the legal food chain due to lack of supporting evidence.