“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.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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