Afternoon: 20 September 2019
The Wall Street Journal (Alan Cullison, Rebecca Ballhaus and Dustin Volz) is reporting that in a July phone call with the president of Ukraine, Trump pressured the president “about eight times” to work with Rudy Giuliani on an investigation of Biden. This “according to people familiar with the matter.”
Quote from the Article:
“He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” if his lawyer’s assertions that Mr. Biden acted improperly as vice president were true, one of the people said. Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of U.S. aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on any investigation.
John Heilemann, on Nicolle Wallace, noted that this article most probably came from Trump sources and with the framing that the White House wanted to establish. They offered the “around eight times” to get it in the news stream, but are setting up the frame that there’s no wrongdoing because there was no “quid-pro-quo.” In an afternoon tweet, Elizabeth da la Vega (former federal prosecutor) makes the same point.
This is a fascinating example of what looks like the White House selectively leaking information to the media while framing the story in a way that is advantageous to them. It is all fascinating.
It’s the most riveting political drama ever and the stakes are THE WHOLE WORLD.
- Seth Abramson is tweeting that the Ukrainian President said on September 13 that the U.S. not only released $250 million in military aid, but also extended another $140 million. What was that for?
And on other topics:
- MSNBC is reporting that Netanyahu is to be indicted.