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What We Know So Far About The Trump-Ukraine Call Transcript

A summary of President Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was released by the Trump administration on Wednesday and confirms that the POTUS did in fact push for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, National Post reported.

The full five-page transcript of the conversation is available to read here, but here are some of the biggest moments and takeaways from the 30-minute phone call.

The call begins with Trump congratulating the Ukrainian leader on his recent win before diving into U.S.-Ukraine relations.

"I will say we do a lot for Ukraine," Trump says. "We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are."

He goes on to emphasize that America does far more for the Ukraine than the Ukraine does for America, saying, "I wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very, very good to the Ukraine."

President Zelensky then expresses interest in buying more U.S. military technology after thanking Trump for America's defense support.

In response, Trump asks Zelensky for a "favor" — specifically, for the Ukrainian leader to investigate "the whole situation in Ukraine", alluding to CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity company hired to investigate the hack of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election.

Information from those servers were later leaked to the press and led to 12 Russian intelligence officers being charged with hacking the servers to interfere with the presidential election.

After Zelensky agrees, Trump asks for a second favor from the Ukrainian president.

Flickr | LeStudio1 - 2019

"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," Trump says. "Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it...It sounds horrible to me."

It's important to note here that independent fact checkers have debunked accusations of wrong doing on the part of either Joe or Hunter Biden.

This part of the transcript is particularly damning as it proves Trump did request an inquiry into Biden and his son, Hunter.

Democrats have accused the president of seeking Ukraine's help to smear Biden before the upcoming 2020 election.

Both men are vying for the presidency, and the transcript shows that Trump repeatedly used Biden's name and asked another foreign leader to investigate his political rival.

Trump goes on to mention former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani who also happens to be his personal lawyer.

He suggests that Zelensky talk with U.S. Attorney General William Barr as well as Giuliani, who is not actually a government official, after the Ukrainian leader says he hopes to meet Giuliani in the future.

"Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy," Trump says. "If you could speak to him that would be great."

Many believe this transcript reveals Trump leveraged financial support for Ukraine to dig up dirt on the Biden's.

Although never explicitly stated, Trump reiterates several times that the U.S. offers the Ukraine support that is not reciprocated. He also brings up his "favors" (i.e.: the Biden investigation) right after Zelensky expresses interest in buying missiles from the U.S.

It certainly would appear that the POTUS was engaging a quid pro quo with the Ukrainian leader. In fact, just days before the phone call, Trump put nearly $400 million of military and security aid for the Ukraine on hold.

In response to the transcript, Giuliani has insisted it proves the phone call was simply an agreement between two leaders.

"Unlike Joe Biden, no military aid was withheld, no threats, and absolutely no pressure," Giuliani wrote on Twitter. "Now, are we ever going to investigate Biden?"

Other Republican lawmakers have taken to Twitter to dismiss the transcript. Senate Judiciary head and well-known Trump ally Lindsey Grahm wrote, "Wow. Impeachment over this? What a nothing [non-quid quo) burger. Democrats have lost their minds when it comes to President @realDonaldTrump."

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also tweeted in response to the release of the transcript.

On Tuesday, Pelosi announced the Democratic-led House would be moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry: "The actions of the Trump presidency revealed a dishonorable fact of the president's betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections."

On Wednesday, Pelosi tweeted that it is not the president's job "to use taxpayer money to shake down other countries for the benefit of his campaign," adding the hashtag #ExposeTheTruth.

There have been concerns raised about the legitimacy of the transcript itself.

It's unclear just how much of the transcript is constructed, and it includes a warning that it isn't a "verbatim transcript of a discussion." Rather, it was written by White House staff "assigned to listen and memorialize the conversation in written form as the conversation takes place."

In fact, many have argued it's not a "transcript", but is actually a memo that contains only what Trump's own staff decided to note. However, as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote on Twitter, "If this is the version of the events the president's team thinks is most favorable, he is in very deep jeopardy."

h/t: National Post, CNN,

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