There's one thing for sure about the White House memorandum logging a rough transcript of the July phone call between President Trump and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky — Zelensky was very flattering toward his American counterpart.
Zelensky praised Trump's campaign strategy and even told him that his own, out-of-nowhere campaign emulated the Trump team. The two also made some digs at the European Union, agreeing that the U.S. was more helpful to Ukraine than their continental neighbors. But another moment that stood out is when Zelensky made sure to point out that he stayed at Trump Tower the last time he visited New York.
"I would like to tell you that I also have quite a few Ukrainian friends that live in the United States," Zelensky tells Trump in the memo. "Actually last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York near Central Park and I stayed at the Trump Tower."
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Some people have pointed out that the line could come back to hurt Trump, as several emoluments cases are working their way through the courts, though it's unclear when the stay actually occurred.
Ethically questionable or not, observers have pointed out that it serves as an example of a foreign leader deftly trying to leverage Trump by praising his personal business. Tim O'Donnell
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