Trump Lying About Ukrainian President Again, Wait WHAAAAAAAAT?
Dunno how to tell y'all this, but Donald Trump lied again:
Nope. Not even close. He's pretending to quote an interview Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy did in Time, but of course he didn't read it and he knows his pigheaded worshipers won't read it, so he's free to lie about it.
Here's something Zelenskyy said about Trump in Time:
The United States of America is a signal, for the world, for everyone. When America says, for instance, that Ukraine is a corrupt country, that is the hardest of signals. It might seem like an easy thing to say, that combination of words: Ukraine is a corrupt country. Just to say it and that's it. But it doesn't end there. Everyone hears that signal. Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have international capital in Ukraine, it's a signal to them that says, 'Be careful, don't invest.' Or, 'Get out of there.' This is a hard signal.
And then this, which is the only thing Zelenskyy remotely said that even comes close to what Trump claims -- and it doesn't actually come close -- which is that he and Trump didn't specifically discuss a quid pro quo. Of course, when "I need you to do us a favor though" comes in the context of a months-long quid pro quo extortion scheme, it's kind of implied.
Look, I never talked to the President from the position of a quid pro quo. That's not my thing. … I don't want us to look like beggars. But you have to understand. We're at war. If you're our strategic partner, then you can't go blocking anything for us. I think that's just about fairness. It's not about a quid pro quo. It just goes without saying.
Wow, that's about as much "total exoneration" for Trump as Bill Barr's upside down lie-reading of the Mueller Report was.
Let's sum up: Zelenskyy says, just like impeachment witnesses said, that it really hurts Ukraine when Trump (and Republicans) yell and scream about Ukraine being "corrupt." And he says "you can't go blocking anything for us" if you're Ukraine's partner, and that that "just goes without saying."
Did you miss the part where Zelenskyy said Trump "has done nothing wrong with respect to Ukraine"? Well, you must be smarter than Donald Trump, and more literate, because he didn't say anything like that.
In the Time interview, discussing a pipeline deal that might screw Ukraine, Zelenskyy says "I don't have any leverage" when it comes to negotiating a deal that will not screw Ukraine. That's up to America to apply pressure to Europe and Russia. He also says he doesn't want Ukraine to be a piece on a chessboard, so "someone could toss us around, use us as cover, as part of some bargain." But yet here we are.
We've discussed why it's so offensive for Trump and Republicans to insist that Trump is somehow innocent, because Zelenskyy said "no pressure!" when Trump was sitting next to him at the UN and practically breathing into his ear ordering him to say "no pressure!" (If you'd like to see us MAD ABOUT THAT, click here.) In an October interview, Zelenskyy also said, "There was no blackmail," and added that "[The U.S.] blocked this money and nobody asked us anything."
However, it's important to remember that multiple impeachment witnesses testified to the vast power disparity between the president of the United States and the president of Ukraine. Zelenskyy alluded to it above! So what's happening here is that Zelenskyy is trying to thread a needle, and not quite telling the whole truth (we've read the transcript), because he really can't afford to piss Trump off, because Ukraine still needs American support to survive its war with Russia.
More than 13,000 Ukrainians have died in that war. Zelenskyy is a new president. Of course he's going to say "no pressure!" when sitting next to Trump. But it turns out he has a hell of a lot more to say on the subject, and he said it in Time. Guy's got balls!
So obviously Trump, being the on-brand shithole loser liar he is, immediately takes everything Zelenskyy says and lies about it.
Speaking of Zelenskyy's balls, and also his fight to actually rid Ukraine of corruption rather than introduce new Trumpy Giuliani corruption into his country, the Washington Post is reporting some news:
By the end of this month, more than 500 Ukrainian prosecutors will be out of their jobs as part of sweeping professional reviews under Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. [...]
Now that Zelensky's reform push is underway, some [officials linked to Rudy Giuliani] are in the crosshairs.
A prosecutor named Kostiantyn H. Kulyk is one of the first.
Zelensky's new prosecutor general, Ruslan Ryaboshapka — "100 percent my person," Zelensky told Trump in July — last week gave a dismissal notice to Kulyk, a key player in the effort to provide Giuliani with political ammunition of dubious accuracy. Kulyk denies meeting Giuliani, but former associates say he prepared a seven-page dossier that his boss later passed along to the former New York mayor.
Man, that's gotta piss Trump off.
Now breathe a sigh of relief that we've made it through post-holiday Monday and it is your OPEN THREAD!
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