On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," historian and former Richard Nixon Presidential Library director Tim Naftali suggested that President Donald Trump — in releasing an incredibly damning partial transcript of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — fell into the same self-laid trap as Nixon himself.
"Tim, help us square this circle. In a sense it seems they're blatantly lying about something they don't need to lie about, because they left the most damning part in there," said anchor Erin Burnett. "When you look at Nixon and the initial transcripts he released about his conversations in the Oval Office, they were incomplete and he acted as if they were complete and they were incomplete and that incomplete nature was extremely significant."
"I've been watching the president's behavior, and there are times when I think President Trump, thanks to Giuliani and others, is trying not to make the mistakes that Richard Nixon made," said Naftali. "He, in this case, has made the exactly the same mistake Richard Nixon made."
"Richard Nixon is the one who edited the transcripts. He went with a pen and said, no, no, no," added Burnett.
"He says we can find $500,000, he kept that in but he took other things out," agreed Naftali. "Why does this matter? The White House impeachment committee, the White House Republicans and Democrats got to hear the transcript, and they saw what was missing. It affected the Republicans. The Republicans thought, what? Why is the White House doing this?"
"I say that this is a big deal," added Naftali. "I think that even though this doesn't change the narrative, it's proof of a cover-up, and my next question is, who redacted the summary? We might be surprised by the answer."