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CNN, which is often hostile in its coverage of President Donald Trump, admitted on Thursday that Trump was “correct” when he said on Thursday that Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee had “purposely misquoted” his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
During the debate over impeachment articles, Rep. Escobar, using an analogy to stress the alleged problem in Trump’s phone call with Zelensky, said “I want you to do me a favor though.” This quote replaces the word “us” found in the memo on the call, with the word “me.”
Rep. Jackson, when quoting the memo of the call, said that the quote was “I would like you to do a favor though” — removing “us” from the quote.
Trump responded to the two Democrats falsely quoting him by tweeting: “Dems Veronica Escobar and Jackson Lee purposely misquoted my call. I said I want you to do us (our Country!) a favor, not me a favor. They know that but decided to LIE in order to make a fraudulent point! Very sad.”
CNN’s fact-check of Trump’s tweet stated: “Trump is correct that the call was misquoted during today’s debate over the articles of impeachment in the House Judiciary committee.”
In his July call with Zelensky, Trump said in part:
I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.
This is not the first time that Democrats have falsely quoted the president during the impeachment hearings as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff did the same thing during an earlier phase of the impeachment proceedings. Schiff stated:
And what is the President’s response — well it reads like a classic organized crime shake down. In essence, what the President Trump communicates is this: We’ve been very good to your country. Very good. No other country has done as much as we have. But you know what, I don’t see much reciprocity here. You know what I mean? I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from you though. And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of dirt, on this and on that. I’m going to put you in touch with people, and not just any people. I’m going to put you in touch with the Attorney General of the United States — my Attorney General, Bill Barr — he’s got the whole weight of American law enforcement behind him. And I’m going to put you in touch with Rudy, you’re going to love him. Trust me. You know what I’m asking, so I’m only going to say this a few more times, in a few more ways. And don’t call me again. I’ll call you when you’ve done what I asked.
Schiff was widely condemned for his behavior and eventually apologized after being called out by Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY).