It seems it didn't take long after President Trump's July call with Ukraine ended for national security officials to start getting nervous.
In the immediate aftermath of Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on which he pushed for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, "nervous word spread among national security aides" about the contents of the call, CNN reports, with officials discussing "among themselves whether Trump had crossed a line" and with national security professionals being left "deeply troubled."
In fact, CNN reports for the first time that one National Security Council official alerted White House national security lawyers about these concerns over the call, with this being separate from the whistleblower complaint that would later spark an impeachment inquiry. Aides were also "unsettled" over the call, according to the report, and "began quizzing each other" about whether they should contact officials mentioned on it like Attorney General William Barr.
White House lawyers, the report goes on to say, "initially believed it could be contained within the walls of the White House," though as the concerns escalated, a National Security Council lawyer directed the transcript be moved to a classified system, which CNN cites sources as saying was to prevent more people from seeing it, although one source raises the possibility that this was to "preserve" it.
Either way, the call didn't exactly come out of nowhere, with Trump having reportedly had an "obsession" with the former vice president's son, Hunter Biden, and his business in Ukraine. "It was weird," one former official told CNN. "He seemed to be taking interest in this particular country."