President Donald Trump continued to rail against a House inquiry examining the question of his impeachment on Monday, arguing that words exchanged earlier this year between himself and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky were “‘perfectly’ stated.”
Trump lashed out against the inquiry’s attempts to get White House officials to speak before them privately this week. Four officials — two White House lawyers, an official within the Office of Management and Budget, and an adviser to chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, were slated to give depositions on Monday.
All four have said they will not speak to House investigators, due to White House orders urging them not to, Raw Story reported.
Without directly acknowledging the situation, Trump seemingly justified the White House’s prohibition on those testimonies by writing in a tweet that there was no need to examine what was said between him and Zelensky. Democrats in the inquiry allege that Trump’s words show he was seeking a quid pro quo from the Ukraine leader, wanting investigations within that country on his political rivals and withholding military aid in order to compel Zelensky to agree.
What I said on the phone call with the Ukrainian President is “perfectly” stated. There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning. This is just another Democrat Hoax that I have had to live with from the day I got elected (and before!). Disgraceful!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2019
“What I said on the phone call with the Ukrainian President is ‘perfectly’ stated. There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning,” Trump wrote.
While the president’s words have been partially examined, the White House so far hasn’t released an actual transcript of the conversation between Trump and Zelensky. The president has several times tweeted out that all one has to do to understand what his motivations were is to “read the transcript” — however, the document released by the White House in September was actually a memorandum of the call.
Within the document itself, it clearly stated that it was “not a verbatim transcript of a discussion” between Trump and Zelensky. A member of Trump’s own National Security Council, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, stated to House investigators last week that several parts of Trump’s conversation with the Ukraine president were omitted from that memo.
Even so, several Democrats allege that the memo itself, in spite of its failings, detailed disturbing favors requested by Trump that deserve deeper scrutiny. Several former and current administration aides have given depositions about interactions with other Ukraine officials that suggest that military assistance, as well as a public meeting between the two heads-of-state, was contingent on Zelensky opening a highly-publicized investigation on Trump’s potential 2020 rival former Vice President Joe Biden.