WH Official Testified That Transcript Of Trump-Ukraine Call Omitted Key Details
The White House’s top Ukraine expert testified on Tuesday that the rough transcript of President Donald Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president left out key phrases, and his attempts to correct the record failed, according to The New York Times.
Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on Trump’s National Security Council who was present on the phone call, reportedly told House impeachment investigators that one of the omissions involved Trump telling the Ukrainian president about “recordings of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. discussing Ukraine corruption.”
Also included in the omissions, he said, was “an explicit mention by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, of Burisma Holdings, the energy company whose board employed Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.”
Colonel Vindman said he failed in his attempts to correct the transcript in order to more accurately reflect the phone call. The Times noted that the official did not offer a motive for the White House editing process.
Once the transcript was placed into a classified computer system, further changes were near impossible to make.
Colonel Vindman’s testimony sheds light on the ellipses in the transcript, which appear three times while Trump is speaking. He “told investigators that at the point of the transcript where the third set of ellipses appears, Mr. Trump said there were tapes of Mr. Biden.”
According to his testimony, Colonel Vindman twice made his reservations known about Trump and his circle’s attempts to pressure Ukraine “to undertake inquiries beneficial to the president, including of Mr. Biden.”
The colonel said during his opening remarks: “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine. This would all undermine U.S. national security.”