World reacts to Trump transcript
The White House finally released a summary of Donald Trump's July phone call with the Ukraine's leader on Wednesday morning (local time), and it has evoked passionate reactions.
The document confirmed President Trump, amid a discussion about the sales of military weapons, asked his Ukrainian counterpart President Volodymyr Zelensky for a "favour" - to probe his political rival Joe Biden, a day after Democrats seized on the explosive allegation to launch an impeachment process.
Former Secretary of State and Trump's 2016 presidential election opponent, Hillary Clinton, jumped on the revelations in the memorandum, saying on Twitter it was proof "the president of the United States has betrayed our country."
"That's not a political statement - it's a harsh reality, and we must act," she said.
"He is a clear and present danger to the things that keep us strong and free. I support impeachment."
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who a day earlier launched formal impeachment proceedings againt the president, released a statement in response to the document saying it "confirms that the President engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of our elections," and that this combined with the "Justice Department's acting in a rogue fashion in being complicit in the President's lawlessness confirm the need for an impeachment inquiry."
I respect the responsibility of the President to engage with foreign leaders as part of his job. It is not part of his job to use taxpayer money to shake down other countries for the benefit of his campaign. #ExposeTheTruth pic.twitter.com/ilXmn2HqVa— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) September 25, 2019
"The President has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad," she said.
Joe Biden, the former US Vice-President and 2020 presidential hopeful released a statement at the centre of the scandal, saying Mr Trump's words were a "tragedy" and an "affront to every single American and the founding values of our country."
"The 2,000-word summation of a 30-minute phone call released by the White House makes clear that days after the President ordered the delay of Congressionally-appropriated military assistance to Ukraine, he implored the President of Ukraine to work with his personal attorney to manufacture a smear against a domestic political opponent, using a malicious conspiracy theory that has been universally debunked by every independent outlet that has looked at it," Mr Biden said.
"This is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue. It is a national security issue. It is a test of our democratic values. Congress must pursue the facts and quickly take prompt action to hold Donald Trump accountable."
The president of the United States has betrayed our country.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 25, 2019
That’s not a political statement—it’s a harsh reality, and we must act.
He is a clear and present danger to the things that keep us strong and free.
I support impeachment.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a top contender to win the 2020 Democratic nomination, described the summary of the call as a "smoking gun".
"If this is the version of events the president's team thinks is most favourable, he is in very deep jeopardy," she added.
"We need to see the full whistleblower complaint and the administration needs to follow the law. Now."
Fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on Wednesday repeated a claim he had been making about Donald Trump for years.
Donald Trump is the most corrupt president in the modern history of this country.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 25, 2019
This "transcript" itself is a smoking gun. If this is the version of events the president's team thinks is most favorable, he is in very deep jeopardy. We need to see the full whistleblower complaint and the administration needs to follow the law. Now. https://t.co/b56nLZZpRi— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) September 25, 2019
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said the conversation reads like a "classic mob shakedown."
The transcript of the call reads like a classic mob shakedown:— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 25, 2019
– We do a lot for Ukraine
– There’s not much reciprocity
– I have a favor to ask
– Investigate my opponent
– My people will be in touch
Nice country you got there.
It would be a shame if something happened to her.
'Squad' member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among those who pointed out the document was not a transcript but a memo, and argued the White House had not released the full conversation.
Also - what they are calling a “transcript” isn’t even a transcript. It’s a collection of notes. This is what they are *admitting* to and it’s way above and beyond what is necessary for impeachment.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 25, 2019
The President engaged in an outright betrayal of our country.
Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by Mr Trump in 2017 also weighed in.
Some media are quoting me from last week about my hope that America will remove Donald Trump by an election, not Impeachment. But we may now be at the point where members of the House and Senate can’t uphold their own oaths to support and defend the Constitution without acting.— James Comey (@Comey) September 25, 2019
However Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, one of Mr Trump's closest allies, claimed it would be "insane" to impeach the president over the phone call.
"From my point of view, to impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane," Mr Graham said.
"From the quid pro quo aspect, there's nothing there."
Wow. Impeachment over this?— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 25, 2019
What a nothing (non-quid pro quo) burger.
Democrats have lost their minds when it comes to President @realDonaldTrump.
A few Republicans, however, have expressed their concern over the contents of the memo.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney described Mr Trump's request for the Ukranian leader to investigate Mr Biden as "deeply troubling."
"My reaction was the same as I had a few days ago, which is this remains deeply troubling and we'll see where it leads. But the first reaction is troubling," Mr Romney said.
"If the president of the United States asks or presses the leader of a foreign country to carry out an investigation of a political nature that's troubling. And I feel that," he added.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke on the Senate floor moments after the release of the document calling for more information.
"We must learn what actions President Trump or his aides took to withhold congressionally directed security aid to Ukraine and why, and more besides," Mr Schumer said.
"We must remember the President was reported to have several calls with President Zelensky over the summer, and his reputation - and his administration has a well-earned reputation for dishonesty, altered facts, and incomplete disclosure in public releases. We need to see the complete, unredacted whistleblower complaint without further delay."
He added that the transcript is "even worse" than the Mueller report.
"The President is directly involved here. It's pretty clear what has happened as bad as the other stuff was, this was even worse."
In Hollywood there was mostly silence except from Mr Trump's regularly vocal critics.
Alyssa Milano shared footage of Attorney General William Barr giving a vague answer when asked during the Mueller probe whether he'd been ever been asked to open an investigation into anyone.
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General Barr would be great,” Trump said in the phone call. #UkraineTranscript https://t.co/c6JsuAfWdA— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 25, 2019
Author Stephen King dismissed Trump's denial of wrongdoing and claims of a "witch hunt" as ridiculous.
More childish whining from Trump. They are so mean to me, wah-wah-wah.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) September 25, 2019