Because now he can say it says whatever he wants it to say, and if he says it enough, people will believe him…
It was a real head-scratcher for many in the media when the White House released that partial transcript of the phone call in which Trump follows on a request for more U.S. arms from the President of Ukraine with an immediate ask of a “favor” of digging up dirt on Joe Biden.
“Why would the White House do that?”, the nation’s intelligentsia wondered aloud. “He’s actually coming out and confirming exactly what the whistleblower alleged”.
Well, yes. Except, no.
By the way, in the paragraph above, we just paraphrased and characterized what people were saying, but we didn’t make it up. Just as House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff did when he summarized the contents of the Trump call as a mob style shakedown. Maybe it wasn’t fair. Yet Trump’s assertion that Schiff made it all up it wildly inaccurate, but it does seem to be gaining some traction.
(Interesting too, because Attorney General Bill Barr did a similar thing in his interpretation of the Mueller Report, which did not fairly summarize the Mueller report at all, and yet that’s been enshrined by the White House as gospel).
Trump is trying to turn the release of the partial transcript into the news, while obscuring what’s actually in it, by accusing Democrats of making up what is actually the actual content. That way, he paints himself as “transparent”, with the fact that he released it when “Schiff and Pelosi never thought I would….Got them by surprise, they got caught”, being the story, without ever discussing the specifics of what’s actually in it, except insofar as accusing the people who do bring up the content of the call—which is there on paper, released by the White House, here it is!—of making it all up.
Was that the strategy all along? Or is it Trump’s improvised way of getting himself out of a hole he may have at first not realized he was digging? Does it matter?
This is the moment Republicans in Congress have been waiting for. Except for a few sycophantic lunatics (and maybe even them), they know what Trump did and why it’s so wrong. But if Trump’s narrative sticks, they won’t have to do a damn thing about it. In fact, it might imperil their political futures if they do (but they should anyway).
They’re giving a lot of lip service now to Trump’s abandoning one of the U.S.’ staunchest allies in the fight against ISIS. But that’ll stop soon too, once they realize that by-and-large, Americans won’t care. Never mind that there were actually very few U.S. troops left in Syria, and yet those few troops were preventing the calamity we’re seeing right now, which has driven our former partners, the Kurds, into the arms of a brutal Syrian regime and Russia. Never mind that those few troops acted as an effective balance, so perhaps it was an effective use of U.S. troops. Never mind that everyone knew Turkey would go faster and further into Syria than “anyone expected”. Anyone could’ve predicted that. The U.S. Military had to know that. Trump had to know that. He’s just counting on Americans not to care. And despite his recent Tweets about sanctions on Turkey (as a response to yet another situation he alone created), we’ll bet he finds a way to sell them U.S. made F-35 jets anyway. Just wait…
And then Trump gets to this:
No, it’s not important to find out who the whistleblower is, or to get that person to testify as to his or her possible motives. Not one bit. You know why?
Because everything the whistleblower alleged (and worse), has been substantiated by sources, that are not the whistleblower, most notably Trump himself in the partial transcript he himself released. (Though it’s not the “full and complete” transcript he promised).
If somebody sees a serious car accident and calls the police, the police don’t generally focus on the person who called it in as the “real emergency”. And leave the victims on the freeway to fend for themselves. That’d be silly. And people might die. Yet that’s akin to what Trump’s trying to pull.
Although the President keeps repeating that he released the complete phone call transcript (which he didn’t), and the call was “perfect” (which it wasn’t), and anyone who says otherwise is making things up or even guilty of “treason”, one thing he doesn’t do a lot of is suggest people read it for themselves. So here it is again! Really, he’s hoping you won’t, and just take his word for it…
The Chaos Report is still traveling this week, which means publishing times and format may be a bit off. We also wanted to mention after our typhoon report Saturday that we’re still in Tokyo and we’re OK. Part of the country are in shambles. Seems to be mostly flood-related, with many big rivers overflowing. We see video today of many homes that appear virtually intact, but are swamped. Or a line of bullet trains parked high up on an elevated track. But the water went even higher…