The not-a-transcript confirms as much: “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 said to Zelensky. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you ·can look into it. . . . It sounds horrible to me.”
Did Zelensky feel pressured by these suggestions from Trump?
Fox News is here to assure the American public that no, he didn’t appear to be. Here’s a relevant chyron from this morning’s coverage:
Magnificent powers of deduction are required to determine, on the basis of a non-transcript, the mind-set of the president of Ukraine two months ago, during a phone call with the very powerful president of the United States. We’re pleased that Fox News can manage such a feat, lest we go without a thorough analysis of Zelensky’s thoughts and feelings.
What’s even more remarkable about the X-ray vision of Fox News is that it can use an unclassified memorandum to suss out the likely posturing of Zelensky. That is to say, foreign heads of state who get on the phone with U.S. presidents hew toward conciliatory and accommodating remarks. The reason? The United States wields a lot of power in this world, even after nearly three years of ruinous leadership under Trump. For starters, it disburses aid to allies and, at the time of this phone call, Trump had decided to withhold nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine.
Good on Fox News, though: It managed to determine that Zelensky wasn’t just playing nice with the U.S. president.
Turns out the network is on solid factual ground, too. CNBC’s Eamon Javers reports that Zelensky himself has already offered “support for President Trump by suggesting that nobody on the American side pressured him to open an investigation” into the Bidens. On Wednesday afternoon, Trump met with Zelensky at the United Nations in New York, and the obvious question arose. Zelensky said, “Nobody pushed me.”
Trump provided interpretive services: “In other words, no pressure.”