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28 Jan, 2022 07:45

GOP & pundits demand to #ReleaseTheTranscript after Biden-Zelensky call

CNN’s report on phone conversation between the presidents of US and Ukraine triggers throwback to Trump impeachment
GOP & pundits demand to #ReleaseTheTranscript after Biden-Zelensky call

Political opponents of the sitting US president are demanding the White House release a full transcript of his call with Ukraine’s President Volodymir Zelensky, which reportedly didn’t go as smoothly as the two nations stated. It’s time for Joe Biden to face what Donald Trump faces in September 2019, conservative pundits say.

The hashtag #ReleaseTheTranscript trended on Twitter in the US as opponents of President Biden reacted to a controversy surrounding his Thursday conversation with Zelensky. CNN’s source in Ukraine claimed that the talks didn’t go well, and that Biden had a hard time convincing his counterpart that a Russian invasion of his country was imminent.

Russia, the US president allegedly warned Zelensky, could “sack” Ukrainian capital Kiev next month, so his nation had better “prepare for impact.” The Ukrainian leader didn’t see the Russian threat as imminent, the source said.

The report was disputed by the White House and the Ukrainian government. US National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said CNN’s sources were “‘leaking’ falsehoods” to the network.

The confusion was welcomed as manna from heaven by opponents of the embattled Democratic president. There are obvious parallels between the current situation and what happened in September 2019, they point out.

Over two years ago, then-President Donald Trump was bombarded with accusations that his earlier call with Zelensky involved some serious transgressions, so his many critics demanded to see the full text of the conversation.

Months later he was impeached for abuse of power, in the form of allegedly trying to get dirt on Biden in exchange for military aid, but the Senate voted against convicting him. Trump supporters called the entire case shaky at best and obviously politically motivated.

Considering the current composition of the US Congress, it’s highly unlikely that Biden would face consequences as dramatic as Trump did for his contact with the Ukrainian president. Nevertheless, the GOP’s side of the House Judiciary Committee leaned in, asking the White House to show what was said between the two presidents.

Meanwhile, conservative commentators found joy in turning the table on Biden to some degree, saying it was his turn to have his feet held to the fire and wondering if some brave whistleblower could leak the supposedly coveted transcripts.

Biden talked to Zelensky for some 80 minutes to discuss a possibility of a military invasion by Russia. The US and some other NATO allies pumped additional weapons into Ukraine, saying Kiev will need them to defend itself, but refused to deploy their own troops. Germany notably opposed the rearmament drive, even denying its airspace to arms shipments to Ukraine.

Russia says it has no intention to attack its neighbor. The very thought that the two may go to war is unacceptable to Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, adding that it was the Western nations who were apparently working to make the tensions spiral out of control.