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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — after months of adamant opposition to impeaching President Donald Trump — having changed her mind this week in response to the Ukraine scandal, the White House is making sure it has its talking points in order.  Those Ukraine talking points have been sent to House Democrats in a document titled “What You Need to Know: President Trump’s Call With President Zelensky,” and Politico’s Andrew Desiderio has posted screenshots of the document on Twitter.

According to reports, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to help dig up dirt on a political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden during a phone conversation on July 25. And the White House, in its list of talking points, tries to make the conversation sound innocent.

In the document, the White House claims that the press has been promoting “flat-out falsehoods about the call” — for example, the White House denies that Trump urged Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, and that Trump threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine if they weren’t investigated. The White House insists that during the conversation, there was “no mention of the aid package to Ukraine at all.”

The White House document goes on to state that “what the president actually talked about was entirely proper.”

“President Trump asked President Zelensky to investigate any connection between Ukraine and attempts to interfere with the 2016 election, something he has publicly discussed in the past,” the document states.

The document goes on to claim that Trump was not “seeking foreign ‘interference’ in a U.S. election” but rather, making a legitimate inquiry about Joe and Hunter Biden’s connection to Ukraine.

Other very Trumpian talking points in the document reference “a phony Russian collusion story” and describe the Ukraine scandal as “another example of the Deep State, the media, Democrats in Congress damaging our national security by leaking confidential information in an attempt to seek political gain.”

In a separate tweet, Desiderio reported, “Source says the White House just sent a follow-up to ‘recall’ the email to House Democrats containing talking points.”

Twitter users have found the White House’s talking points to be ridiculous. @BohlenLinda tweeted, “My GOD. And they completely blow past the fact they’re greenlighting an American President asking a Foreign Government to investigate a private American Citizen. That’s now acceptable practice in the future.” And @tz1969 tweeted, “We can now have full confidence the whistleblower complaint is worse if they willingly released this transcript!”

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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