The words “rough transcript” have often been used to describe a publicly released summation of President Donald Trump’s now-infamous July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky; it was not a full transcript but rather, was based on what notetakers wrote down. And Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent, has suggested that at least 20 minutes of the conversation are missing from the rough transcript/White House memo that has been publicly released.
Speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday, King asserted that according to an analysis by his staff, roughly two-thirds of the call time remain unaccounted for.
The 75-year-old King (who was a Democrat before 1993) told Cooper, “I had two staff members from my office the other day read it aloud, and we timed it. They read it in normal speaking pace. It took them ten minutes and 40 seconds; the phone call was 30 minutes. Now, we don’t know what is missing.”
The senator, however, noted that some of that time might have been taking up by translators. The 41-year-old Zelensky speaks English as well as Russian and Ukrainian, but English is not his native language.
King told Cooper, “The president of the Ukraine speaks English. If there was no translator, that raises a question of what’s in the other 20 minutes of that discussion.”
Because of that July 25 conversation, Trump is now facing an impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House of Representatives. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after months of being the Democratic Party’s most prominent impeachment skeptic, changed her mind after learning that Trump tried to pressure Zelensky into helping him dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
King, during his CNN appearance, was highly critical of Trump’s claim that the intel whistleblower who reported the July 25 conversation committed an act of treason.
“The problem is the president feels that he is the state — you know, like Louis XIV,” King told Cooper. Trump, King added, wrongly believes that “criticism of him is treason against the United States.”