President Donald Trump released a transcript of his phone call with the president of Ukraine Wednesday morning in response to the news that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is beginning an official impeachment inquiry.

After speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, he tweeted on Tuesday his intent to publish the transcription.

“Secretary of State Pompeo recieved permission from Ukraine Government to release the transcript of the telephone call I had with their President. They don’t know either what the big deal is. A total Witch Hunt Scam by the Democrats!” tweeted Trump.

Pelosi, who had been reluctant to impeach, had faced increasing pressure from some Democrats. However, after a classified whistleblower complaint about Trump’s correspondence with a foreign official lead to the revelation that Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate frontrunner, Joe Biden, Pelosi concluded there is sufficient evidence to launch an impeachment inquiry.

“This week the president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically,” Pelosi said Tuesday. “The actions of the Trump presidency revealed dishonorable fact of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.”

Trump quickly tweeted his response: “They never even saw the transcript of the call. A total Witch Hunt!”

The White House released the transcript of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky Wednesday morning.

The released documentation of the conversation is not a verbatim transcript, but is “the notes and recollections” of officers and policy staff assigned to transcribe the conversation as it took place. A further disclosure notes that a “number of factors can affect the accuracy of the record, including poor telecommunications connections and variations in accent and/or interpretation.”

The July 25 conversation took place the day after Robert Mueller testified to Congress.Trump told Zelensky to “do us a favor” and “find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike.” Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity company found that two groups connected to the Russian government were behind the Democratic National Committee hack in 2016.

Trump then asked about democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. The president mentioned that Ukraine’s former top prosecutor, who had been denounced by multiple countries for charges of corruption, had been fired. He insinuated that Biden had pushed for the prosecutor’s removal, because he had been investigating a gas company called Bursima Holdings for tax evasion. Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board of directors in 2014.

“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 would be great,” Trump told Zelensky. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

He went on to tell Zelensky to expect a call from his attorney Rudy Giuliani.

In a Sept. 19 interview on CNN, Giuliani said that he asked Ukraine “to look into the allegations that related to my client, which tangentially involved Joe Biden in a massive bribery scheme.”

Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University, tweeted that the White House transcript likely cut out parts of the conversation.

“The transcript text is right around 2,000 words, and the call took exactly 30 min — that’s about 66 words per minute,” he tweeted. “That’s quite slow — roughly half normal speaking rate. (Zelensky is fluent in English.) Could suggest how much text isn’t included.”

According to the National Center for Voice and Speech, the average rate of speech for English speakers in the United States is about 150 words per minute.

The complete, released transcript is available to read here.

Washington Post reporter Robert Costa tweeted that he was shocked Trump thought the conversation reflected well on him.

“Several Senate Republicans I’ve spoken with in the last hour are stunned that the WH is releasing this transcript. They do not think it helps the president’s cause. And they expect today’s Senate GOP lunch to be quite the get-together” tweeted Costa.

However, some pro-Trump Republicans are skeptical of Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry.

Congressman Doug Collins (R-Georgia) tweeted that, “Speaker Pelosi’s decree changes absolutely nothing. As I have been telling Chairman Nadler for weeks, merely claiming the House is conducting an impeachment inquiry doesn’t make it so. Until the full House votes to authorize an inquiry, nobody is conducting a formal inquiry.”


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