"READ THE TRANSCRIPT!" All caps, exclamation point.
That was how Donald Trump defended himself the day Congress voted to formally begin the public phase of an impeachment inquiry into the President of the United States.
The transcript he tweeted about refers to a White House summary of July 25 phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president.
Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry say the summary confirms what a whistleblower complaint and numerous witnesses have said: that Trump pressed Ukraine to open investigations into a potential democratic rival, Joe Biden.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE JIM MCGOVERN, SAYING: "So, this is a sad and somber time in the history of the United States of America." Democratic Representative Jim McGovern submitted the impeachment resolution that passed on Thursday.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE JIM MCGOVERN, SAYING: "We wouldn't be here if Donald Trump didn't behave in such an unacceptable manner.
His behavior with Ukraine, trying to force the leader of a foreign country to manufacture dirt on his political opponent, in order for Trump's own political gain, and there was a quid pro quo involved as well, I mean that is beyond the pale.
That is unacceptable." [FLASH] (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING (October 2): "The conversation was perfect." Trump clearly has a different view: he did nothing wrong, and that what he calls the 'transcript' exonerates him of any wrong doing.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING (October 2): "We had stenographers on the phone taking it down word for word." In fact, the cover page of the summary stipulates that it is not a verbatim transcript.
And at least one witness, the national security council's Lt.
Alexander Vindman, told Congressional investigators that the summary in places left out sections of the call.
It also makes clear that Trump wants Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, and Biden's son over their business dealings.
The top American diplomat in Ukraine told lawmakers that the Trump wanted Kiev to publicly announce a probe of the Bidens in exchange for nearly $400 million in Congressionally-approved military aid.
Despite that, the Republican lawmakers and the White House continue to trumpet what they call a "transcript" as proof Trump's hands are clean.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) REP.
KEVIN MCCARTHY, MINORITY LEADER, SAYING (October 31): Ask every single member of Congress who has a transcript of that phone call, what was the impeachable offense?
As the House prepares to televise the next phase of its impeachment hearings, the former reality star president responded with a plan of his own.
In an interview Thursday night Trump said he considered reading this 'transcript' on television, in what he called a 'fireside chat.'