Trump's tall tale: A whopper about his chat with Zelenskyy in 2019


Former U.S. President and Republican nominee for this year's election, Donald Trump, told a whopper on March 17 about the 2019 phone call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy concerning Hunter Biden.

CNN fact-checked Trump's latest yarn.

There was indeed a call between Zelensky and Trump In July 2019. In fact, it was the infamous call that led to the former President’s first impeachment.

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Trump asked his Ukrainian buddy to "do him a solid" and look into Hunter Biden, whose dad, Joe Biden, was gearing up to be Trump's main rival in the 2020 election.

Hunter Biden had a gig on the board of one of Ukraine's largest gas companies, Burisma Holdings, for five years. Without any evidence, the GOP cried foul, claiming corruption.

Trump's team released a transcript of that call in September 2019. The Democrats in Congress, who were just getting the impeachment ball rolling against Trump, thought the "favor" bit smacked of betrayal.

Trump claims he let the Dems make “wilder and wilder” claims about what he said to Zelensky, “and then we released the tape.”

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Trump mentioned that then House Speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, "heard" this record and got steamed because her crew had bamboozled her with "false" takes on the call.  Trump claimed Pelosi asked, “What the hell did you get me into? You hear this call? He didn’t do any of this stuff!”

Trump claimed that Pelosi was told, “Let’s just pretend he did and keep going forward.”

He continued, “After they made up the story and then after that they heard the tape, they died. They didn’t know that phone call was taped. That was one good case of a phone call being taped. And they were taped and they got caught.”

Trump's tale is pure fiction, says CNN.

There was never a public release of any recording of his chat with Zelenskyy, so Pelosi couldn't have got ticked off at her allies after hearing the tape.

There's no known American recording of that call, CNN's fact-check goes on.  What the Trump White House put out in September 2019 was a rough transcript that, if anything, backed up the main beefs about what Trump said, not the other way around.

Presidential calls with foreign leaders aren't typically taped by the U.S. Instead, they're sort of captured in text using software and officials who listen in.

Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, one of the officials who listened in on Trump's call with Zelenskyy told CNN there is “no recording” of the call.

“He’s lying,” Vindman said.

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