A decorated Army Officer who serves in the National Security Council told lawmakers yesterday the transcript of President Trump’s phonecall with Ukraine’s President – which launched the Impeachment investigation – left out important phrases.
Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, an Iraq war veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart for his bravery, was the first person testifying who had directly listened to the phonecall in which Trump asked the Ukrainian President to investigate Joe Biden in return for military aid.
Officer Vindman told the Impeachment Inquiry the White House transcript omitted crucial words and phrases, according to the New York Times. That directly contradicts President Trump’s own claims.
….because their so-called story didn’t come even close to matching up with the exact transcript of the phone call. Was it a Corrupt Adam Schiff con? Why didn’t the IG see this? When do we depose Shifty Schiff to find out why he fraudulently made up my phone call and read this..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2019
What did he say?
Lt. Col. Vindman’s full testimony is still sealed, but according to CNN, he is reported to have told lawmakers the White House transcript omitted a reference to ‘Burisma’ – the company that employed Hunter Biden and Trump pushed the Ukranian President to investigate. That would have more explicitly indicated that President Trump wanted a political favor (an investigation into Joe Biden) in return for military aid.
He also said the rough transcript contained ellipses at three points where the President was speaking. Where the third set of ellipses appears, he said, Trump had said there were tapes of Mr. Biden. That is an apparent reference to Joe Biden’s comments at a January 2018 event.
Vindman also said he tried to change the reconstructed transcript made by the White House staff to reflect the omissions. But these two key two corrections were not made he said.
Wasn’t the transcript accurate?
The White House released a memorandum, not an official transcript, in September, even though it calls that a transcript. But the memo still shows Trump asking for the Ukraine president to begin an investigation into Joe Biden that would help him.
The so-called Whistleblower, before knowing I was going to release the exact Transcript, stated that my call with the Ukrainian President was “crazy, frightening, and completely lacking in substance related to national security.” This is a very big Lie. Read the Transcript!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2019
Why his testimony mattered
Lt. Col. Vindman was the first official who directly listened in on the July 25 telephone call between President Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.
He is also a decorated Army officer who served multiple overseas tours, including a deployment to Iraq for combat operations. In Iraq, he was wounded in an IED attack and awarded a Purple Heart. The Trump administration’s attempts to paint him as unpatriotic or a nonentity failed for that reason.