Their Turn: ABC, CBS LIE About ‘Favor’ Trump Asked of Ukraine President

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Seemingly following in the misleading footsteps of CNN host Wolf Blitzer and chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, the Thursday evening reports on ABC and CBS lied about the contents of the phone call transcript between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Both broadcast news outlets misinformed their viewers and claimed the “favor” Trump asked of Zelensky was to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, that was not the case.

As this author noted on Wednesday, any honest person who actually read the transcript knew the “favor” (which appears on the top of page-3) had nothing to do with the Bidens:

I would like you to do us a favor though because out country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike [sic]… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it.

In the midst of her Thursday report on ABC’s World News Tonight, gushing about the actions of the anonymous whistleblower behind the complaint, senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce proclaimed:

Just yesterday, the White House released the transcript of that call and it showed President Trump asked the Ukrainian president ‘to do us a favor’ and later urged him to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden.

 

 

Meanwhile, on CBS Evening News, chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes peddled a similar distortion:

The phone call in question took place on July 25, just after Mr. Trump unexpectedly froze millions in Ukraine aid. According to a summary of the call released yesterday by the White House, Mr. Trump asked the president of Ukraine for a favor, to look into campaign rival Joe Biden, and Biden's son Hunter.

When someone views the transcript of the phone call, it becomes quite clear that these two journalists were offering spin. But what made the lies Cordes told particularly insidious, was the fact that CBS White House correspondent Weijia Jiang had told the truth the previous evening.

“But right after Zelensky mentions buying more American-made weapons, the President asks for ‘a favor’, to investigate whether a Democratic National Committee server that was hacked during the 2016 election ended up in Ukraine,” Jiang accurately reported on Wednesday.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

CBS Evening News
September 25, 2019
6:34:43 p.m. Eastern

(…)

WEIJIA JIANG: But right after Zelensky mentions buying more American-made weapons, the President asks for “a favor”, to investigate whether a Democratic National Committee server that was hacked during the 2016 election ended up in Ukraine.

(…)

ABC’s World News Tonight
September 26, 2019
6:33:23 p.m. Eastern

(…)

MARY BRUCE: The whistleblower claims "multiple U.S. government officials" informed him that "the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election."

The whistleblower goes on to describe the President's phone call with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky. Just yesterday, the White House released the transcript of that call and it showed President Trump asked the Ukrainian president "to do us a favor" and later urged him to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden.

Pressed today, the acting director acknowledged the whistleblower's account did, in fact, match that transcript.

(…)

 

CBS Evening News
September 26, 2019
6:33:04 p.m. Eastern

(…)

NANCY CORDES: The phone call in question took place on July 25, just after Mr. Trump unexpectedly froze millions in Ukraine aid. According to a summary of the call released yesterday by the White House, Mr. Trump asked the president of Ukraine for a favor, to look into campaign rival Joe Biden, and Biden's son Hunter.

The whistleblower says White House officials were deeply disturbed and were directed by White House lawyers to remove a transcript of the call from the regular computer system; placing it, instead, in a separate system normally reserved for classified, sensitive information. He says aides saw this as “an abuse of the system”, but that it was not the first time they had done this to protect the president.

(…)

NB Daily Events Trump Impeachment Foreign Policy Europe Ukraine Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News Fake News Video Mary Bruce Nancy Cordes Donald Trump

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