Trump: I’ll Read the Ukraine Call Transcript to the Entire Country

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Clearly baffled by the extent to which the Democrats and the media have mischaracterized his phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, President Trump said in an interview this week that he would hold a live television address in which he reads the transcript to the American people, simply to show that there was nothing wrong with the call.

In remarks to the Washington Examiner, Trump also suggested that he was no more willing to cooperate with the Democrats’ impeachment proceeding now than he was before the House took a vote on formalizing the procedure.

“This is over a phone call that is a good call,” Trump told the Examiner. “At some point, I’m going to sit down, perhaps as a fireside chat on live television, and I will read the transcript of the call. Because people have to hear it. When you read it, it’s a straight call.”

This isn’t the worst idea that Trump ever had. We can only imagine that there are millions of Americans who are simply taking the Democrats’ word for what is in that transcript. Others are reading cherry-picked, filtered analyses of the transcript from their favorite fake news outlet. If Trump could get a big television audience to actually listen to what was (and wasn’t) said on the call, it could move the numbers back in the right direction. Because he’s right; there’s nothing particularly noteworthy on the call. There’s certainly nothing impeachable there.

The Examiner asked the president if, in light of the House vote, he would begin cooperating with what has been (and continues to be) a highly partisan impeachment process. Trump didn’t answer the question directly, but his answer indicates continued defiance: “You’re setting a terrible precedent for other presidents.”

Trump said there was little basis on which to compare his impeachment with that of previous presidents.

“Everybody knows I did nothing wrong,” he said. “Bill Clinton did things wrong; Richard Nixon did things wrong. I won’t go back to [Andrew] Johnson because that was a little before my time. But they did things wrong. I did nothing wrong.”

He also rejected the idea that he should follow Clinton’s lead and develop a “war room” whose goal is to fight back against impeachment charges.

“I already have good people,” he said. “It’s a con job, a sham. Clinton was different. He was guilty. This is a simpler case than his.”

Trump said that, ultimately, it was ridiculous to think he would try to do something illegal on a call where he knew there were plenty of people listening in.

“I got stenographers and all these other people on the line,” he said. “I am going to make a statement that is illegal or bad? Who would do a thing like that?”

Democrats’ charges against Trump require Americans to ignore what they hear, ignore what they see, and ignore what basic common sense tells them. Then again, that’s the basis for their entire political platform, so why should anyone be surprised?