Speed Reads

well that's concerning

Whistleblower filed complaint despite only hearing about Trump-Zelensky call secondhand. Their account of it is completely accurate.

One of the biggest arguments used by President Trump's allies against the whistleblower complaint just went bust.

They have claimed that even though an intelligence community whistleblower alleges Trump risked national security on a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the whistleblower didn't hear the call and thus can't be trusted. But the public has now seen both a memorandum of the phone call and the whistleblower's secondhand account of it — and they completely match up.

A rough transcript of the call released Wednesday shows Trump expressly urged Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, with Attorney General William Barr and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani. It prompted demands from Democrats to see the whole whistleblower report, but also pushback from Republicans like Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who tweeted that "the 'whistleblower' wasn't on the call" and a "secondhand account of the call" wouldn't reveal "more than the actual call."

Yet what the whistleblower heard from "White House officials who had direct knowledge of the call" was accurate, and apparently enough to cause concern. The whistleblower correctly notes that Trump "pressured Zelensky" to do the following: "Initiate or continue an investigation into" Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, "locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee and examined by the U.S. cyber security firm Crowdstike," and "meet or speak with" Giuliani and Barr, who were mentioned "multiple times in tandem."

It's also worth noting that the memorandum released Wednesday was not a word-by-word transcript of the call, but rather a memo based on notes.