An official on the White House’s National Security Council said he heard the U.S. ambassador to the European Union explicitly press Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden and his son, according to a transcript released on Friday by Democrats leading the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump.
(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "This whole thing is a phony deal.
It's a phony setup." President Donald Trump railed against the impeachment probe on Friday, after House investigators released two more transcripts of closed-door testimony from Fiona Hill and Lt.
Alexander Vindman, whom the president said he was not worried about.
(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I'm not concerned about anything.
The testimony has all been fine.
I mean, for the most part, I never even heard of these people.
I have no idea who they are... all that matters is one thing: the transcript.
And the transcript is perfect." Trump has made "READ THE TRANSCRIPT" a rallying cry, even though the "transcript" is not actually a transcript.
The document itself says on the first page that it’s not a verbatim readout of the July 25th phone call with Ukraine's president - the subject of the whistleblower complaint that set off the impeachment inquiry.
The testimony from Lt.
Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, showed that he told investigators that - on the call - Trump demanded Ukraine open investigations into his political rivals "in order to get what they have been looking for." He also told investigators that specific words in the readout of the call were deliberately omitted from the version that was shared with the public.
The transcript of testimony from Hill, Trump’s former adviser on Russia and Europe, revealed that her boss, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, appeared "pained" over the unceremonious ouster of U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
The New York Times reported on Friday that Bolton has knowledge of “many relevant meetings and conversations” connected to whether Trump pressured Ukraine to probe his political rivals.
Bolton did not show up for scheduled testimony on Thursday.
The Times reported that his lawyer said he wants a judge to determine whether he or his former deputy should testify in defiance of the White House, which has said it will not cooperate with the impeachment investigation.
(SOUND BITE) (English) ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF MICK MULVANEY, SAYING: “I have news for everybody: Get over it." House investigators are still pursuing testimony from acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who was subpoenaed to appear for a deposition Friday but also did not show up.
(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I don't want to give credibility to a corrupt witch hunt.
I'd love to have Mick go up, frankly.
I think he'd do great." Trump also also criticized House Democrats for moving the impeachment inquiry into the public eye with open, televised hearings that begin on Wednesday, after weeks of Republican demands for openness and transparency.
(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: “They shouldn’t be having public hearings; this is a hoax!"