Thursday, September 26, 2019

An Interesting Point on the Ukraine Call "Transcript"

It's not a verbatim transcript. It's a memorandum "developed with assistance from voice recognition software along with experts and note takers listening."

I agree with FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver, who assumes a non-verbatim memorandum crafted by the White House "represents the best-case scenario for Trump."

On the other hand, I doubt even a verbatim transcript would include a direct "nice military ya got there, be a shame if it didn't get those Javelin anti-tank missiles it was expecting ..." from Trump.

And on the third hand, I also agree with Silver that the Trump spin machine may be incorrect in presuming "that the public actually cares about the quid pro quo, rather than viewing Trump telling a foreign leader to investigate a political rival as a prima facie abuse of presidential powers."

For the last two years and then some, Trump and Company have (with, in my opinion, quite a bit of justification) argued that the Obama administration, on behalf of Hillary Clinton, did pretty much exactly the same thing to him that he openly admits to doing to Biden, only using domestic government resources (DOJ, FBI) rather than outsourcing the work to a foreign power. Whether the foreign power angle makes it worse is an interesting question, but I don't see how it isn't at least as bad.

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