House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-S.C.) claimed that the White House set a bad precedent by releasing the transcripts to phone calls between the president and Ukrainian leaders.
On Wednesday morning, the White House released transcripts to a phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This release was prompted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) decision to launch an official impeachment inquiry into the president based on portions whistleblower’s report that had been made public about Trump allegedly withholding military aid in return for dirt on 2020 competitor Joe Biden.
The transcripts didn’t exactly clear the air for the president, as many Democrats believe it shows a quid pro quo and many Republicans believe it exonerated the president.
While some Republicans have praised the transparency from the White House, Scalise broke from the group and admitted that he believes the president should not have agreed to release the transcripts, shocking “America’s Newsroom” host Bill Hemmer in the process.
Watch Scalise’s comments below:
“I wish they wouldn’t have released the transcript of a conversation with the president and another foreign leader because it’s not a good precedent to set. But the call itself — the transcript itself — didn’t show any crimes or quid pro quo which is what they were saying it was going to show. The idea that now they expect every conversation between the president and a world leader to be made public? Are they going to go back in time and do that with President [Barack] Obama or any other president? Frankly, I hope they don’t because it is not a good standard to set.”
As Scalise hinted, there have been calls from Democrats to get more calls from the White House.
As IJR previously reported, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) called for the transcripts of several calls made between President Trump and other world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.