Nets Tout Whistleblower Memo Describing 'Crazy', 'Frightening' Trump Call

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During their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts, the major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) seized on a newly released anonymous whistleblower memo that described the reaction of one White House official listening to President Trump’s call with the president of Ukraine. The keywords that elevated their intrigue involved the official calling the call “crazy” and “frightening.”

“This is an unusual look into at least one of the conversations the whistleblower had with a White House official who’s describing the conversation between President Trump and the Ukrainian president in stark terms,” announced NBC chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson on Today.

As the video portion of her report began, Jackson hyped the memo’s content (click “expand”):

“Crazy” and “frightening,” that’s how one White House official is said to have described that controversial call between President Trump and the leader of Ukraine, in which the President asked for help investigating political rival Joe Biden. That’s according to a newly-revealed memo written by the whistleblower, separate from the complaint that sparked the impeachment inquiry.

A congressional source with direct knowledge of the memo, which has been turned over to Congress, confirmed its contents to NBC News, as reported by The New York Times. The memo says the White House official who listened to the July call described the conversation as “completely lacking in substance related to national security.” And that, “In the official’s view, the President had clearly committed a criminal act by urging a foreign power to investigate a U.S. person for the purposes of advancing his own re-election bid in 2020.” The official “visibly shaken by what had transpired,” according to the whistleblower’s memo.

On Good Morning America, ABC senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega talked about how the memo dramatically suggested the White House official was “visibly shaken” by the scary phone call.

 

 

This whistleblower wrote a two-page memo. In it, he says that this official from the White House was ‘visibly shaken’ and described the call as ‘crazy’ and ‘frightening.’ The memo is now in the hands of the inspector general and, George, this is really just upping the Democrats’ desire to hear from that whistleblower and so many others,” Vega told chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.

CBS congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes also got into the act during CBS This Morning. “Democrats are gathering evidence around the President’s now-infamous July phone call with the Ukrainian president. An early memo from the whistleblower cited a White House official who was on the call and described it as ‘crazy’ and ‘frightening,’” she reported.

The sensationalist anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight, David Muir, cranked up the theatrics at the top of their Tuesday evening report on the memo:

And there is one more note on all of this tonight. New reporting here on that triggered the impeachment investigation. The insider at the White House, the official who listened in on the President's call with Ukraine. The whistleblower saying that that person then described the call as, quote, crazy and frightening.

According to the whistleblower, the White House official on the call reached out to him the next day and was quote ‘visibly shaken,’” added ABC chief White House correspondent Jon Karl that evening. “The whistleblower says the official told him the call was completely lacking in substance related to national security.

Failing CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell offered her own take in the echo chamber: “Also, a new memo written by the whistleblower says a White House official who listened to the phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian leader called it ‘Crazy’ and ‘Frightening.’

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The transcripts are below, click "expand to read:

Good Morning America
10/09/19
7:07 AM

(...)

CECILIA VEGA: And now there is another twist in all this. ABC News has learned that the whistleblower at the center of it all had a conversation with a White House official after that phone call, the person had listened in on the phone call between President Trump and the president of Ukraine.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Impeachment Showdown; New Details From Whistleblower Memo]

This whistleblower wrote a two-page memo. In it he says that this official from the White House was “visibly shaken” and described the call as “crazy” and “frightening.” The memo is now in the hands of the inspector general and, George, this is really just upping the Democrats’ desire to hear from that whistleblower and so many others.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, and we don’t know if this White House official is that second whistleblower who’s come forward.

(...)

 

CBS This Morning
10/09/19
7:08 AM

(...)

NANCY CORDES: Democrats are gathering evidence around the President’s now-infamous July phone call with the Ukrainian president. An early memo from the whistleblower cited a White House official who was on the call and described it as “crazy” and “frightening.”

(...)

Today
10/09/19
7:08 AM

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And more details are emerging now about how White House officials reacted to the President’s phone call with the leader of Ukraine. And they’re coming from a newly-revealed memo written by the whistleblower at the center of all of this. NBC’s chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson has that part of the story this morning. Hallie, good morning.

HALLIE JACKSON: Savannah, good morning. This is an unusual look into at least one of the conversations the whistleblower had with a White House official who’s describing the conversation between President Trump and the Ukrainian president in stark terms.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: New Details From Whistleblower’s Memo; Official Describes Ukraine Call as “Crazy” & “Frightening”]

“Crazy” and “frightening,” that’s how one White House official is said to have described that controversial call between President Trump and the leader of Ukraine, in which the President asked for help investigating political rival Joe Biden. That’s according to a newly-revealed memo written by the whistleblower, separate from the complaint that sparked the impeachment inquiry.

A congressional source with direct knowledge of the memo, which has been turned over to Congress, confirmed its contents to NBC News, as reported by The New York Times. The memo says the White House official who listened to the July call described the conversation as “completely lacking in substance related to national security.” And that, “In the official’s view, the President had clearly committed a criminal act by urging a foreign power to investigate a U.S. person for the purposes of advancing his own re-election bid in 2020.” The official “visibly shaken by what had transpired,” according to the whistleblower’s memo.

No comment from the whistleblower’s attorney or from the White House, though the President has repeatedly insisted he did nothing inappropriate.

DONALD TRUMP: It’s a perfect call. It’s a scam, it’s a scam by the Democrats to try and win an election that they’re not gonna win in 2020. That call is a very terrific call. It’s congenial, there was no pressure, there was no anything.

JACKSON: With the whistleblower’s complaint at the center of the House impeachment inquiry, Democrats are defending the process.

NANCY PELOSI: Protecting the whistleblower is absolutely essential, so that there’s no retribution or anything for speaking truth.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Hallie, overnight the President is seizing on a report about the whistleblower’s bias, political bias, against him. What more do you know about that?

JACKSON: Yeah, the President overnight, Savannah, is tweeting, and again this morning, about a report that the whistleblower had a professional tie to one of the 2020 Democratic candidates. But the Intelligence Community Inspector General, while acknowledging that there may be “arguable political bias” on behalf of the whistleblower, still concluded that the allegations “appeared credible.” The whistleblower’s attorney has said that partisanship is not involved here. And keep in mind that the whistleblower’s description of that Ukraine call largely matched the summary that White House itself put out. Savannah?

GUTHRIE: Alright, Hallie, thank you so much.

NB Daily Events Trump Impeachment Broadcast Television ABC Good Morning America World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News CBS This Morning NBC NBC Nightly News Today Video David Muir Cecilia Vega Jonathan Karl Nancy Cordes Norah O'Donnell Hallie Jackson Donald Trump

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