Hellhound on Their Trail, Newport, Oregon. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

+ I think we can all agree that refusing to send military aid to Ukraine would have been a wise decision by Trump. But trading the slaughter of civilians in eastern Ukraine for political dirt on HRC and the Bidens pretty much exposes his America First foreign policy as little more than diplomatic narcissism, which, of course, we’ve known all along but it’s useful to have it confirmed in his own “Rough Trade Transcript“….

+ Trump targeted an American citizen overseas for political gain. Obama targeted American citizens overseas for drone strikes. Both deserve impeachment. But only one left blood splatter for forensic analysis…so far.

+ The “transcript” notes that the conversation lasted for 30 minutes. It took me less than five to read the entire “transcript” twice–that’s a lot of dead air in those ellipses….

+ CNN talking-lawyer-head Jeffrey Toobin, rare for him, raises an interesting point: what do the ellipses in the transcript signify, especially the crucial one at the end regarding Biden? Do they represent a Trumpian brain freeze or has something damning been elided, as in the Nixon “transcripts.”

+ In his call with Zelenskyy, Trump roped Bill Barr and Rudy Giuliani into the conspiracy, while Rudy helpfully implicated Pompeo on Laura Ingraham’s “show.”

+ If it’s not Quid pro quo, it may be Quo pro quid…

Zelenskyy: “I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense…” (That’s the military aid.)

Trump: “I would like you to do us a favor though…”

+ Trump’s political antics would be a lot more entertaining if they weren’t so petty & repetitive. For example, instead of badgering Zelenskyy about HRC’s involvement in the Ukrainian coup, he suggests that her email server might be gathering dust on a shelf in pawn shop in Kiev…

+ Greg Mitchell: “Not in ‘transcript’: Ukraine leader found horse’s head in bed that very morning.”

+ There were far too many complete sentences for this to have been an actual transcript of Trump speaking off the cuff…

+ Recall that when Nixon first released the transcripts of the White House tapes, they were full of deletions, omissions and even rewrites of what was actually on the tapes.

+ When William Safire (former Nixon speechwriter turned NYT columnist) dubbed Bill Barr, the “patsy prosecutor.

+ In April 2018 White House counsel Don McGahn wrote a memo to Trump warning him that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including impeachment. Trump seems to have taken this memo as encouragement…

+ When House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said at his press briefing on Weds. that “No one has read this transcript,” he surprised many of his own colleagues who knew he had been at the White House earlier in the morning, for the purpose of reading the transcript before its public release.

+ Naked Capitalism: “Ukrainegate is both parties shooting themselves in the foot with the same bullet.” The magic bullet at last!