The White House on Wednesday mistakenly emailed its proposed talking points intended to aid Republican lawmakers in their defense of President Trump’s phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, to the inboxes of every Democrat in Congress.
The email was sent in the hours after the release Wednesday of the summary transcript of Trump’s July 25 phone call with Zelensky, in which the president repeatedly asked the Ukrainian president to work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, or his Attorney General William P. Barr, and expressed hope that he “can look into” former Vice President Joe Biden’s role in the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor.
The email, titled, “What you need to know: President Trump’s call with President Zelenskyy,” was quickly recalled by the White House — but not before Democrats distributed screenshots of the talking points memo on social media.
“I would like to thank @WhiteHouse for sending me their talking points on how best to spin the disastrous Trump/Zelensky call in Trump’s favor,” Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) said in a tweet. “However, I will not be using their spin and will instead stick with the truth. But thanks though.”
I would like to thank @WhiteHouse for sending me their talking points on how best to spin the disastrous Trump/Zelensky call in Trump’s favor. However, I will not be using their spin and will instead stick with the truth.
But thanks though.
— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) September 25, 2019
Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (N.J.), shared the full talking points in a tweet, calling them “complete Orwellian lies and toxic trash.”
“But maybe you’d like to read them to appreciate their corruption! Hazmat suit possibly required,” he said.
The trump White House just accidentally sent our office their talking points for deflecting trump’s treachery. They’re complete Orwellian lies and toxic trash, but maybe you’d like to read them to appreciate their corruption! Hazmat ☢️ suit possibly required. pic.twitter.com/twcYGkcO7h
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell) September 25, 2019
According to The Washington Post, several “Democratic Hill staffers said they had received the talking points as well as a follow-up email recalling the message.”
Here's a screenshot of the White House asking House Democrats to please disregard the talking points on Trump/Ukraine they just emailed them pic.twitter.com/55HgOESWyL
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) September 25, 2019
Among the talking points distributed by the White House is the claim that there was no “quid pro quo” made by the president and that “what the President actually talked about was entirely proper.”
The memo claims that Trump “did not mention Rudy Giuliani or Vice President Biden until after President Zelenskyy had raised Giuliani first,” glossing over the fact that Trump did mention Biden of his own accord.
It goes on to claim that “the real scandal” is about leaks in the run-up to the release of the rough transcript, claiming that the whistleblower complaint “was handled absolutely by the book and it was properly determined that no further action should be taken.”
The Post notes: “Democrats have maintained that a quid pro quo is not necessary for the president’s conduct to be impeachable. They have also pressed for the White House to release the whistleblower complaint to the House and Senate intelligence committees, for the whistleblower to be allowed to testify and for Barr to recuse himself until the matter is resolved.”