October 8, 2019

THE TIGHTENING NOOSE:

Inside the White House's effort to contain Ukraine call fallout (Pamela Brown, Jeremy Diamond, Kaitlan Collins and Kevin Liptak, October 8, 2019, CNN)

By the time President Donald Trump's line with Volodymyr Zelensky went quiet, the scramble began.

In the hours and days after the Ukrainian President signed-off -- "Thank you Mr. President, bye-bye" -- nervous word spread among national security aides about the contents of the July 25 call, an early show of worry that Trump's request for an investigation into Joe Biden was far from the "perfect" conversation he now insists transpired.

The scramble and fallout from the call, described by six people familiar with it, parallels and expands upon details described in the whistleblower complaint. The anxiety and internal concern reflect a phone conversation that deeply troubled national security professionals, even as Trump now insists there was nothing wrong with how he conducted himself. And it shows an ultimately unsuccessful effort to contain the tumult by the administration's lawyers.

At least one National Security Council official alerted the White House's national security lawyers about the concerns, three sources familiar with the matter said, a detail that had not been previously disclosed. Those same lawyers would later order the transcript of the call moved to a highly classified server typically reserved for code-word classified material.


Posted by at October 8, 2019 7:15 PM

  

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