President Donald Trump of the United States, claims that the whistleblower's and Adam Schiff's version of Trump's July phone conversation with the President of Ukraine was completely made-up.
The White House has released a transcript of the call; we can easily compare third-person accounts with reality. Full transcript
President Trump Participates in a Meeting with the President of the Republic of Finland
2 October 2019
Video positioned to start @ 47s
Well, the whistleblower was very inaccurate. The whistleblower started this whole thing by writing a report on the conversation I had with the President of Ukraine. And the conversation was perfect. It couldn't have been nicer. [...] Not a thing wrong. Unless you heard the Adam Schiff version where he made up my conversation. He actually made it up.
It should be criminal. It should be treasonous. He made it up. Every word of it, made up and read to Congress as though I said it, and I'll tell you what, he should be forced to resign from Congress. Adam Schiff. He's a lowlife. He should be forced to resign. He took a perfect conversation, realized he couldn't read it to Congress because it was perfect.
He took that conversation, which was perfect. He said, "I can't read this." So he made up a conversation and he reported it and said it to Congress and to the American people. And it was horrible what he said. And that was supposed to be coming from me, but it was all fabricated.
Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testifies on whistleblower complaint before House Intelligence Committee
26 September 2019
Video positioned to start @ 1573s
Adam Schiff explains the context:
[Y]esterday we were presented with a record of a call between the President of the United States and the president of Ukraine in which the President, our President, sacrificed our national security and our Constitution for his personal political benefit.
To understand how he did so, we must first understand just how overwhelmingly dependent Ukraine is on the United States militarily, financially, diplomatically, and in every other way, and not just on the United States, but on the person of the President.
Ukraine was invaded by its neighbor, by our common adversary, by Vladimir Putin's Russia.
It remains occupied by Russian irregular forces in a long, simmering war.
Ukraine desperately needs our help, and for years we have given it and on a bipartisan basis. That is until two months ago when it was held up inexplicably by President Trump.
It is in this context, after a brief congratulatory call from President Trump to President Zelensky on April 21st and after the President's personal emissary Rudy Giuliani made it abundantly clear to Ukrainian officials over several months that the President wanted dirt on his political opponent, it is in this context that the new president of Ukraine would speak to Donald Trump over the phone on July 25th.
President Zelensky, eager to establish himself at home as a friend of the president of the most powerful nation on earth, had at least two objectives, get a meeting with the President and get more military help.
And so what happened on that call?
Zelensky begins by ingratiating himself and he tries to enlist the support of the President.
He expresses his interest in meeting with the President and says his country wants to acquire more weapons from us to defend itself.
And what is the President's response?
Well, it reads like a classic organized crime shakedown. Shorn of its rambling character and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicates:
Adam Schiff's parody of Trump
What Trump said according to the transcript
We've been very good to your country. Very good. No other country has done as much as we have.
I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you.
A lot of the European countries are the same way so think it's something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.
But you know what? I don’t see much reciprocity here.
I wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.
President Zelensky says:
I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defence. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the UnitedStates for defence purposes.
I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from you, though.
I would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.
And I'm going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good.
I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent. Understand? Lots of it on this and on that.
There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great.
Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.
I'm going to put you in touch with people, and not just any people.
I'm going to put you in touch with the attorney general of the United States, my attorney general Bill Barr.
He's got the whole weight of the American law enforcement behind him.
I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people, and I would like you to get to the bottom of it.
And I'm going to put you in touch with Rudy. You're going to love him. Trust me.
Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you.
I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General.
Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy.
If you could speak to him that would be great.
You know what I'm asking?
And so I'm only going to say this a few more times in a few more ways.
And by the way, don't call me again. I'll call you when you've done what I asked.
Remarks by President Trump and President Niinistö of the Republic of Finland Before Bilateral Meeting
2 October 2019
Full transcript @ whitehouse.gov
Trump says (my emphasis):
[T]he conversation [with the President of Ukraine] was perfect; it couldn’t have been nicer.
I saw Rick Scott, I saw many of the senators talking about it, many of the congressmen talking about. Not a thing wrong. Unless you heard the Adam Schiff version, where he made up my conversation. He actually made it up. It should be criminal. It should be treasonous.
He made it up - every word of it, made up - and read to Congress as though I said it.
Well, no. Not every word was made up.
Schiff said (my emphasis):
I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent.
I expect that this single word is what triggered Trump.
The reality is that the smears against Joe and Hunter Biden with regard to Ukraine is a made-up conspiracy designed to undermine Joe Biden's Presidential bid.
Fact-checking Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and Ukraine @ Politifact
How a conservative columnist helped push a flawed Ukraine narrative @ The Washington Post
Making it up
Since the conspiracy theory wasn't true, the only way that the Ukrainians could "dig up dirt" on the Bidens was to make it up.
We asked Schiff's office how he could claim that Trump had asked Zelensky to "make up" or "manufacture" dirt on Biden. That's not in the memo of the call, which only says Trump asked Zelensky to "find out what happened" and "get to the bottom of" CrowdStrike and "the server" and told the Ukrainian president that "a lot of people want to find out about [the Bidens] so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great."
Patrick Boland, a spokesman for Schiff, told us: "The Ukrainian government has already completed an investigation into this matter," referring to the Bidens, "which resulted in no charges or allegations of wrongdoing. And as a result, any further investigation undertaken under pressure from the president and his agent would be to tarnish and manufacture dirt on a political opponent."