Official WH Transcript Accidentally Does All The Colusion
Screenshot, Russian govt video

Hey, remember how it made really big news when a reporter asked Vladimir Putin Monday if he'd wanted Donald Trump to win in 2016, and Putin said, Oh, yeah, the most, because eww, Hillary. Funny little detail about that: The main part of the question is missing from the White House transcript, so the official record is just slightly glaringly inaccurate. As Barack Obama observed t'other day, we live in strange and uncertain times, so our public records may as well reflect that, huh?

In the for-real version of the presser that most people saw, the exchange went like this: While the Russian interpreter was finishing up the English translation of Putin's previous answer, Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asked a two-part question.

Mason: President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?

Putin: Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the US-Russia relationship back to normal.

All very clear and not at all colludy, because who wouldn't want better relations between our two great nations? Ah, but here's a screenshot of the White House's transcript, still not corrected as of this morning. It goes straight from the end of Putin's suggestion that it might be fun if the US would please turn over British citizen Bill Browder for questioning, to the second half of Mason's question. The way it shows up here, it looks like Putin is totally saying "Yup, I certainly helped him do that," whoever "him" and "that" might be:

Future historians may well conclude from those dangling modifiers that Putin confesses here to collusion, or to helping Meatloaf do that one thing he previously said he wouldn't do for love. Strange times, my friends.

The official White House YouTube video leaves out the question, too. National Public Radio compares the full clip with the White House version in this audio right here:

Mason had asked Putin the previous question, but says he held on to the mic for a follow-up. He noted "someone was sort of pulling the cord for me to give it up," and then he got to the question everyone heard on the news outlets' feed. Mason speculates the gap in the official audio and transcript may have been a matter of a technical boo-boo in the White House's audio feed:

I don't know if the mike was partially turned off or turned off when the presidents were speaking and then turned back on again once we had a chance for a question. I don't know if it was a glitch. I really have no insight into why that happened.

We're happy to buy that, because this White House is too fucking lazy to look up how Theresa May spells her name, so no way would they go to all the trouble needed to snip the first half out of a question in a YouTube vid. So a transcriptionist might well have just gone with some screwy audio and left it at that. And him.

And because this White House is too fucking lazy to be bothered, it's also perfectly happy to leave the error in the record than to fix it, because oh god, having to open a file again, god this job sucks. The Presidential Records Act and the lamestream media can bite themselves, because when we did try to cover the Big Man's ass for him we just got mocked for it. Screw it, is it Five yet? Three thirty? Good enough.

Then again, the official Russian transcript took an even more creative approach: It just snips out the entire exchange, going from the end of Putin's please-give-us-the-head-of-Browder answer to the next damn question.

You know what this means, of course: Trump will now brag about how much more transparent his media team is than Russia's, so no colusion, no colusion, no colusion. Everything is perfectly Normay.

It's been a doubleplusgood week for the memory hole. Or perhaps we meant to say it has NOT been. We'll let you know what we decide.

When the going gets stupid, Wonkette points and laughs. Point and click here to keep US going!

[Atlantic / NPR / The White House /]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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