Today features more White House manufacturing of truth that resembles the Bill Barr “summary” of the Mueller report, as further contrasts will be drawn between conventional diplomacy and a Trumpian parallel activity of self-dealing.

Two career diplomats will testify before House impeachment investigators Wednesday that President Trump displayed a deeply pessimistic view of Ukraine that was out of step with officials at the White House and State Department who saw support for the European country as critical in its battle with Russian-backed separatists, according to their prepared remarks obtained by The Washington Post.

The State Department officials, Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, will say their optimistic view of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky clashed with a darker outlook of the new government held by Trump and an informal channel of actors linked to the president’s attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani.


Croft and Anderson did not enjoy as much visibility into senior-level decision-making as some of their peers, such as former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman, whom House Democrats have struggled to bring in to testify. But they do offer new insight into how a shadow foreign policy executed by people outside of government undermined the work of U.S. officials.


Two additional witnesses are scheduled to testify before the end of the week: Timothy Morrison, special assistant to the president and senior director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council, on Thursday, and Robert Blair, senior adviser to acting Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, on Friday.…

(CNN)The National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that he tried to make changes to the White House’s rough transcript of the July phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s President, including that Trump mentioned tapes of former Vice President Joe Biden, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified that one example of his attempts to change the transcript was to include Trump telling Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky there were tapes of Biden, which The New York Times reported occurred where there’s an ellipsis in the transcript that was released. The change was not made. The assertion that some portion of the conversation was replaced by an ellipsis contradicts the White House’s statement in September that the ellipses in the transcript did not represent missing words or phrases. It also contradicts the President who has insisted the transcript the White House released was an exact depiction of the call, even though the memo itself describes it as rough.
Vindman also said that he would have edited the transcript to specifically show that Zelensky mentioned Burisma — the company that hired Hunter Biden — rather than just “the company,” according to sources.

  • October 30, 2019
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