According to a Washington Post extract, one of the notes in former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham’s forthcoming book was that former President Donald Trump wanted her to execute a “dramatic reenactment” of his call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The conversation was included in the scandal that led to Trump’s first impeachment. Bribery is an impeachable violation, according to the Constitution, and Democrats contended that the transcript of the call showed that Trump was attempting to bribe Zelensky.
As Ukraine battled off a Russian incursion on its eastern border, Congress approved assistance for the country. Trump attempted to stall the funding in exchange for a “favor.”
Throughout the hearings and trial, Trump referred to it as a “great call” and maintained his innocence.
According to the Grisham book, Trump was certain that if his press secretary could provide a “dramatic reading” of the call to the press in the White House press room, he would be found not guilty. In her memoir, Grisham claims that she ignored the request.
According to Alexander Vindman, a former National Security Council expert, what was presented to Trump and what authorities had prepared for Trump to say in the call with Zelensky never transpired. Instead, he deviated from the script during the call, leading to the first impeachment.
“I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine,” Vindman said he heard Trump tell Zelensky. “We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time, much more than the European countries are doing, and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you.”
Vindman was taking notes on the call while the rest of the staff listened on. When Trump asked for the favor, he remembered coming to a halt. He said he was “getting more uneasy,” but then resumed taking notes. “The other thing,” Trump added, referring to the rumor concerning Biden’s son. He was taken aback.
“My glance around the table confirmed that I wasn’t the only one taking in what was happening,” the book said. With his eyes darting around to everyone else in the room, he remembered his new boss, a lawyer.
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In his new book, “Here, Right Matters: An American Story,” retired Lt. Col. Vindman writes that he had a bad feeling about former President Donald Trump’s infamous 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky before it even happened.
“One phone call changed my life. On Thursday, July 25, 2019, I was seated at the table in one of the two Situation Rooms in the basement of the West Wing. The bigger room is famous for movies and TV shows, but this room is smaller, more typically businesslike: a long wooden table with 10 chairs, maybe a dozen more chairs against wood-paneled walls, and a massive TV screen. This was the room where President Barack Obama and his team watched a feed of the Osama bin Laden raid. This morning, the screen was off. We were all focused intently on the triangular conference call speaker in the middle of the table. President Donald Trump’s communications team was placing a call to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, and we were there to listen,” Vindman wrote.