An independent U.S. senator believes that a memo detailing a conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymy Zelensky has left out several minutes of the actual dialogue had between the two leaders.
The memo, as well as a whistleblower complaint that brought forward the importance of the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky in the first place, is the subject of intense scrutiny as Congress enters the first stages of an impeachment inquiry against the U.S. president. The whistleblower has alleged that Trump pressured Zelensky to open an investigation against Democratic candidate
As noted by prior reporting from HillReporter.com, the memo itself is not a verbatim record of the phone call between Trump and Zelensky — notetakers who are typically involved in such conversations don’t always write down every portion of dialogue that goes on, as there may be sensitive information included within that presidents or members of their administration don’t want to risk having released to the public.
Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday evening, said he and his staff have reason to believe that at least 20 minutes of conversation could be missing from the memo, Newsweek reported.
WHAT ARE THEY HIDING? "Independent Senator Angus King has claimed that some 20 minutes of the phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are missing from the White House memo detailing the conversation." https://t.co/S3DqTB1Tsu pic.twitter.com/8pi88DYigx
— OD Action (@ODAction_News) October 2, 2019
His reasoning? King and his staff actually recreated the conversation, as it was depicted within the memo released by the White House last week.
“I had two staff members from my office the other day read it aloud,” King said. “And we timed it. They read it in normal speaking pace. It took them 10 minutes and 40 seconds. The phone call was 30 minutes. Now, we don’t know what is missing.”
It’s not the most scientific way of determining that dialogue is missing, but even if you take into account translators relaying messages between the two leaders (essentially doubling the speaking time calculated by King), there would still be a substantial amount of time missing from the conversation, assuming that Trump and Zelensky spoke at a normal rate.
King is normally less enthusiastic on the issue of impeachment than he is compared to some of his Democratic colleagues, but the gap in time he believes exists has piqued his interest in the matter.
It’s “why I think there has to be an inquiry to get to the facts surrounding this,” King added.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.