disclaimer
September 25, 2019

The transcript of the July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is out and, well, it's not exactly a transcript.

A disclaimer sits at the bottom of the first page, explaining that the content is actually a memorandum based on the "notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty Officers" and National Security Council policy staff "assigned to listen and memorialize the conversation in written form as the conversation takes place." So, it's not word-for-word.

This isn't unexpected, however. There was a lot of speculation that whatever the White House released would be more akin to an approximation of the conversation between the two leaders, with some people even arguing the Trump administration would likely try to spin the narrative by releasing the content ahead of the full whistleblower complaint.

That remains to be seen, but Larry Pfeiffer, former senior director of the White House Situation Room under former President Barack Obama, previously pointed out that the White House generally doesn't have tapes of calls made in the Situation Room. Instead, those monitoring the call reportedly develop a "working transcript." The National Security Council then develops that into a memorandum, which is what the White House released. Tim O'Donnell

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