SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: “That’s a cover up.” SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: “My call was perfect!” SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) HOUSE INTELLIGENCE CHIEF ADAM SCHIFF: “It’s hard to imagine a more serious set of allegations than those contained in the complaint.” Washington is gearing up for battle.
As Democrats investigate Trump’s interactions with Ukraine’s president, and claims of a White House cover-up, Trump is lashing out at his political rivals.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: “What these guys are doing -- Democrats -- to this country is a disgrace and it shouldn't be allowed.
There should be a way of stopping it.
Maybe legally, through the courts." Many of Trump’s allies insist the president did nothing wrong in pushing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
Some said they were too busy to read the 8 page whistleblower complaint which prompted an impeachment inquiry.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) US SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "I haven't had a chance to actually read the whistleblower complaint yet.
I read the first couple of paragraphs and then got busy today.” While other Republicans were a bit more hesitant to rush to Trump’s defense: SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) SENATOR MARCO RUBIO, SAYING: "When the time is right we've got enough information that I'm prepared to sort of give my opinion on what I've seen so far I'll do it then.” The president Friday defended his call with Zelenskiy, saying "it could not have been better or more honorable" and that "It wasn’t bad, it was very legal and very good." The complaint claimed that the White House moved records of Trump’s call with Zelenskiy to a secret server, because White House officials fear they had witnessed the president abusing his power for personal gain.
The complaint also says Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has acted as an unofficial liaison in urging Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
In notes of the July 25th call, Trump tells Zelenskiy that Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr will help with the investigation.
The complaint also questioned whether U.S. aid was held up until Ukraine showed it would act on Trump’s request.
Sources tell Reuters the whistleblower is a CIA officer and was assigned at one point to work at the White House.
The New York Times first identified the whistleblower as a CIA officer, which Reuters confirmed.
Trump told staff from the U.S. mission to the United Nations he wanted to know who provided information to the whistleblower, according to an audio recording provided to the Los Angeles Times by an attendee.
"You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart?
The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.” As for Biden, the controversy has allowed the former VP to portray himself as Trump’s top target, bolstering his long-standing argument that he is the candidate the president fears most at a time when Biden has seen his support erode in recent weeks.