President Trump released the transcripts of a controversial phone call he had with Ukrainian leadership about a potential investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden‘s dealings with his son, Hunter Biden.
The transcripts show that Trump did request Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden. The debate over this conversation lies in whether Trump pressured Zelensky, specifically by refusing military aid if he did not cooperate.
That point is still being hashed out, but Romney told reporters that it was “deeply troubling” for Trump to have been discussing such matters.
Watch Romney’s comments below:
.@jmartNYT: appropriate for the House to begin this inquiry on impeachment?
ROMNEY: "That’s not advice I’m going to be providing to the House Speaker, she is able to do what she believes is right…clearly what we’ve seen from the transcript itself is deeply troubling." pic.twitter.com/8mw11r1jRj
— Alan He (@alanhe) September 25, 2019
“I did read the transcripts. It remains troubling in the extreme. It’s deeply troubling. […] There’s a process the House is pursuing. The Senate is also looking at the testimony of the whistleblower. So there’s an evaluation of gathering the facts.”
Romney declined to comment on whether he supports the House moving forward with the official impeachment inquiry, noting that he would leave it to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to make those decisions.
“That’s not advice I’m going to be providing to the House or to the speaker. She’s able to do what she feels is right. That’s up to her,” said Romney, adding, “But at this stage, the process is to continue gathering information, but clearly what we’ve seen from the transcript itself is deeply troubling.”
Romney is the only Republican Senator to express such misgivings about the transcript, as Republicans like South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham have called the transcript a “nothing (non-quid pro quo) burger.”
Prior to the release of the transcripts, Romney had already expressed concern over the situation.
If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme. Critical for the facts to come out.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) September 22, 2019