complete and unredacted
Just how thorough will the transcript of President Trump's conversation with Ukraine's president be?
That question's on everyone's mind ahead of the Wednesday release of what the president has described as the "complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript" of his contentious call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump has admitted he brought up wanting Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son.
Ahead of the transcript's release, Larry Pfeiffer, former senior director of the White House Situation Room under former President Obama, explained on Twitter that there wouldn't be White House tapes of the call, but it's a "long-standing practice" to keep transcripts. How it works: the White House Situation Room monitors the call and "develops a verbatim working transcript," which the National Security Council directorate develops into a memorandum, which "can vary greatly from a lightly edited full transcript to a vaguely worded summary of the call."
Pfeiffer spoke further to The Washington Post and explained that Trump would be "foolish" not to release the full, unredacted transcript like he promised, as "if they release anything that looks less like a verbatim transcript, there are a handful of people involved in this process who could be fact witnesses for whether what was released is what was actually said."
Still, Pfeiffer notes he's not aware of any changes Trump may have made to the process, and James Goldgeier notes for the Post that even if the complete document is released, it "could be misleading in any number of ways," including by not having "captured the exact wording" of the call, which wouldn't be "for nefarious reasons but simply because of the note takers' limited capacity to write as they listen."
We'll have to remain in suspense about what's in the transcript for a just a bit longer, although Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani apparently doesn't.