The entire news cycle this week has revolved around one thing: President Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine. The problem is, this story sounds all too familiar.
The media propped up a story about Trump-Russia collusion and prolonged a false narrative over the course of three years. The “story” ended with the Mueller report, which proved absolutely no collusion.
Now the mainstream media is running with a new narrative, one that claims Trump directly asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.
Having learned nothing from 2016, the media are deliberately spreading misinformation, just as they did with the Trump-Russia story. It’s time to straighten this out.
1. Based on the Transcript, There Is No Clear ‘Quid Pro Quo’
The media are running with the idea that there is a clear quid pro quo.
“This really looks like evidence of a damning quid pro quo,” Vox writer Zack Beauchamp wrote.
CNN hopped on the train as well, saying:
The transcript of a July phone call between President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky amounts to a clear case of a (barely) unspoken quid pro quo involving the digging up of dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“Quid pro quo” has become a buzz word when discussing this story, but what does it actually mean? Essentially, it means asking for a favor with the expectation that something will be returned. Was that actually what happened, according to the transcript? No.
2. In Order to Impeach Trump, a Clear Quid Pro Quo Is Needed
NBC News, however, does not believe a clear quid pro quo is needed to successfully impeach Trump.
The law is very clear that a quid pro quo need not be explicit for a crime to have taken place. It can be inferred from the facts as a whole.
Even if there was no quid pro quo (no withholding of military aid, in this case), Giuliani was clearly acting on behalf of Trump’s campaign in seeking to persuade Ukraine to “investigate” the Bidens.
Federal law prohibits a foreign national from directly or indirectly making a “contribution or donation of money or other thing of value” in connection with a U.S. election, and prohibits a person from soliciting, accepting or receiving such a contribution or donation from a foreign national. Damaging information about a political opponent could fit within this definition, meaning Trump and Giuliani solicited an illegal “thing of value” from a foreign national in connection with an election.
What this NBC author deceptively left out was that this isn’t just a “federal law,” it’s the “contributions and donations by foreign nationals” law. The word “thing,” means a tangible item or donation. This isn’t some overarching federal law. It’s a law about contributions, donations, and other tangible items.
Information in no way falls into these parameters, contrary to this NBC reporter’s claims.
3. Biden Was Not Mentioned Eight Times During the Ukraine Call
According to the transcript, Biden was mentioned three times — twice in the same sentence and once in the following sentence.
The transcript reads:
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 that would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.
4. The Acting Director of National Intelligence Never Threatened To Resign
The headline for the Washington Post article read, “Acting director of national intelligence threatened to resign if he couldn’t speak freely before Congress on whistleblower complaint.”
According to the Washington Post’s own story, an unidentified official told the Post that Joseph Maguire threatened to resign if he wasn’t able to speak freely before Congress. But in the next paragraph, Maguire denies ever having said that.
“At no time have I considered resigning my position since assuming this role on Aug. 16 2019,” Maguire said. “I have never quit anything in my life, and I am not going to start now. I am committed to leading the Intelligence Community to address the diverse and complex threats facing our nation.”
The direct source denying he wants to resign is a better source than an unidentified “official.” But that doesn’t fit the media’s narrative.
5. Trump Did Not Ask the Ukrainian President To Investigate Biden as a ‘Favor’
The word “favor” came some 540-odd words before Biden’s name was ever mentioned. Yet the mainstream media is reporting directly that Trump asked Zelenksy to do him a favor by investigating Biden.
The “favor” Trump asked for was for Ukraine to investigate Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity company. Some 540 words later, Trump asked Zelensky to look into Biden’s interference with a Ukrainian prosecutor, not as a favor the way the media are portraying it to be.
CNN just skipped right over it on air earlier this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/1cirnrMglW
— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) September 25, 2019