“Read the Transcript,” Trump Berates Reporter Who Is Quoting Transcript

Oliver Contreras/Zuma

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After casually encouraging the media to release the name of the whistleblower who spurred the impeachment investigation against him, President Donald Trump engaged in a bizarre back-and-forth with a reporter Sunday. Trump repeatedly told the reporter to “read the transcript” of Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky—even as the reporter quoted the phone call.

“Mr. President, you said ‘no quid pro quo,'” the reporter said, according to a transcript of the president’s remarks on Sunday. “The thing is, is that, in the transcript, it says—,” 

“Read the transcript,” Trump interrupted. (No full transcript of the call has been released, but Trump was referring to a memo detailing the call that was released by the White House.)

“—’I have a favor to ask you though,'” the reporter continued, quoting the memo.

“Read the transcript,” Trump repeated, pointing a menacing index finger at the reporter.

“But it says, ‘I have no—I have a favor to ask you though,'” the reporter said.

“Read the transcript,” Trump said once more, before turning to another reporter.

Watch the interaction at 11:10 below.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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