Trump’s Ukraine Call Was ‘Crazy’ and ‘Frightening,’ Official Told Whistle-Blower

The whistle-blower wrote a memo describing an official who heard the call as “visibly shaken” by it.

Comments: 280

  1. “Crazy and frightening” describes not only the call but also this “president.”

  2. Go Red Sox!

  3. @Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 Yanks sweep, on to ALCS! On the substance we have agreement!

  4. @Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 You nailed it on that one Red!!

  5. 18 U.S. Code § 2381.Treason . U.S. Code Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States. (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807)

  6. @David Macauley: Neither Russia nor Ukraine is an enemy of the U.S. And you should be using the definition in the Constitution, not the statute.

  7. @Dubious what? Russia is not an enemy?? what do they haver to do to become an enemy???

  8. "the president had clearly committed a criminal act by urging a foreign power to investigate a U.S. person for the purposes of advancing his own re-election bid in 2020,” the C.I.A. officer wrote. Investigate Impeach Indict Incarcerate Individual #1 "People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook." - Richard Nixon The Republican Party can remove all those fraudulent miniature American flags from their suit lapels now. You're not fooling anyone anymore, Grand Old Phonies.

  9. @Socrates Your comment is transcendently brilliant; terse and to the heart of the problem. Remove those lapel pins indeed; nothing smells more like hypocrisy than that. I thought quoting Nixon was a coup de grace until I read the next sentence.

  10. @Socrates, Clearly and sadly, the GOP is, indeed, fooling some of the people all of time. What will it take to pull the blinders from the "Forever Trumpers"?

  11. Those flag lapel pins seem to be growing larger by the week. It is hilarious to observe. Also, I have thought for a long time that the pin should be a dollar sign, not the U.S. flag. That would be the most accurate.

  12. How do Trump supporters square this? Fake news? Deep state conspiracy? Can he do no wrong?

  13. MsB, For The Red Cap Brigade, Mr. Trump can do no wrong.

  14. Then why doesn’t this “visibly shaken” aide step up and put country before party?

  15. @Michael he did.

  16. @Michael Perhaps he/she already has. This could be the second whistleblower.

  17. @Michael that is exactly what you want. You want to be able to identify and destroy anyone that says anything against Trump. The whistle-blower process only seems to get protection if it is from someone from the other side, huh?

  18. Drip, drip, drip... That's how Nixon's impeachment started. And with even LESS support in congress for the exercise. The difference between then and now? Republicans back then had integrity when it dawned on them that, yes, the president - the head of their party - was a crook. Now? They are willing co-conspirators? I'm trying to envision a congress full of dozens of senators and congressmen/women who have forsaken their oaths for the crimes of one person. Y'know - Traitors.... And, has Trump has so publicly said, back in the old days, there was only one way to deal with traitors.

  19. @TommyTuna Yea but they already know he is a crook a useful crook for them that is when that stops is when this all stops

  20. @TommyTuna My thoughts exactly. At some point, their choice is doing to be to leave the easy way or the hard way.

  21. So a White House official listening to Trump's July 2019 phone call with Ukraine's leader found it to be "crazy" and "frightening." Must've been an official who had just started working in the White House. Just about everything that comes out of Trump's mouth is crazy and frightening.

  22. @Jay Orchard His inaugural address was crazy and frightening. And the Access Hollywood tapes BEFORE the election, where he admits to criminal sexual assault, of who knows how many women? He's a monster, and we all have significant evidence of his criminality, long before he waa president, his MO was always trying to destroy his enemies, ie, anyone who tried to tell the truth about his bad business deals. He's just escalated this to our country's dealings on the world stage, but no less criminal, self-serving, and incompetent. He needs to be impeached before he does any more damage.

  23. These whistle blowers must be seen and celebrated (albeit anonymously) as the true patriots they are. If only others would come forward with documentation of crimes they’ve observed during the current administration.

  24. So his phone call was "crazy, frightening and completely lacking in substance." Just like his presidency.

  25. Fortunately, the recent call with Turkey (that inspired a snap retreat from Syria and abandoning our Kurdish allies) was totally sane.

  26. “Crazy,” “frightening,” and “completely without substance” are words that describe not only that call by the President with Ukraine, but his presidency and administration in general. Far from perfect.

  27. Isn’t it rich that the president who follows NO former protocol in any of his dealings, ie tax returns, NATO allies, emoluments, etc. etc. etc., says he won’t let anyone talk to or send documents to Congress until they hold a vote on an impeachment inquiry - because of precedent? Wha, wha, what!

  28. @Pattyann: Anything to delay the inevitable.

  29. Pattyann, Thank You for reminding me: Just what has happened to the subpoenaed tax returns?

  30. @Pattyann. The Constitution gives Congress the authority to establish its procedures. It does not give the President the authority to dictate what procedures Congress must use. This is just a way for Trump to delay providing information to Congress---because the facts are not helpful for Trump.

  31. Whooo, so frightening! I am shaking myself.

  32. We should all be frightened, including our senators. Wake up, Congress -- it's time to act.

  33. Republican Integrity One of these things is not like the other.

  34. That's an oxymoron!

  35. SN, Excellent. Thank you very much for that trip down the Sesame Street Memory Lane.

  36. This call may not have been totally perfect.

  37. @JB Actually, not even semi perfect.

  38. @JB Its beauty is doubtful, also.

  39. @JB I love understatement.

  40. Why do Republicans fail to see the danger in allowing the President to get foreign powers to help him win elections? Iran just reportedly tried to hack into Trumps re-election campaign. What if they had uncovered illegal, or even just embarrassing, information and used it to blackmail Trump into dropping sanctions or "giving" them Iraq? What if the Chinese decided they want to get a Democrat elected and steal or just make things up about Trump? What if criminals start hacking Senators, finding evidence of affairs and start selling it to the highest bidder? Shortsightedness today will come back and haunt them tomorrow (literally).

  41. @Patrick: They know, they don't care, period. Power is the end goal, always has been, always will be with these amoral spineless jellyfish.

  42. @Patrick Or even if the Chinese wanted to give his family members some patents or loan them money to get out of a bad business decision?

  43. Trump’s presidency is scary and frightening. Every single day.

  44. Well, nothing will come of this, Trump is going to reelected in 2020, and I'm glad I moved to the Netherlands this year to avoid more ongoing madness. You're welcome to join me over on this side of the Atlantic.

  45. @Bill Scurry I'm afraid that we can run, but cannot hide, from authoritarianism's creep. We saw this in the 1930's.

  46. Bill, running away isn’t going to help any of us. I love my country, and I’m doing everything I can to stand up for what is right.

  47. @Bill Scurry I want to go!

  48. Let the American Public see all the phone transcripts that are secretly stored away. If they are of no national security concern, then we should be shown all (without edits!).

  49. @Matt586 We need to remember that what the White House released were a summary, not a "transcript."

  50. pbjorling, 'Reconstructed transcript'. Shorthand/euphemism for 'made up'. Which is even worse.

  51. It is very disturbing that the Republicans seem to be sticking with their "nothing to see here", "nothing illegal" "but Biden" talking points.

  52. @Low Energy, Sad: They've got nothing else because they know they're wrong, he's wrong, and his orange behind will be impeached and the GOP will have no choice but to convict, thereby giving away the 2002 election. They've already done that, they just don't want to admit it yet.

  53. I am I am happy that The whistleblower is reporting on the improprieties corruption and criminality of the Trump administration. however my question is where are the principal resignations of top officials? Where are the condemnations in public? From the Democratic side of The ledger I have these questions; where are the subpoenas? Where is the charging of inherent contempt? Where is the Sergeant at Arms busily arresting and detaining those who defy Congressional subpoenas? where is my republic where is the democracy that I've come to love and I thought was built upon a roc solid foundation and now it's sad to see it was built upon and ephemeral Sandcastle that may never have existed

  54. @r. Pangloss The subpoenas are all in the courts where Barr, Trump and cronies have sent them to delay any release of information. Trump is not the only crook, he has lots of help.

  55. @Dr. Pangloss Yes, exactly!

  56. Why this continued focus on the whistleblowers? The transcript released by the White House contains affirmative, incontrovertible evidence that Trump solicited foreign assistance in the election, which violates federal law. Trump's blocking of witnesses is incontrovertible evidence of obstruction of justice. Impeachment count 1, violation of federal law. Count 2, obstruction of justice. What more do we need?! Every day this goes on the GOP attacks and disinformation grows. All that can conceivably come from delay is confusion.

  57. @Todd: You asked "Why this continued focus on the whistleblowers?" The GOP strategy is deflect, deny, distract, especially when they're wrong, which is pretty much 100% of the time.

  58. @Todd Not even a transcript — what’s been released is the cleaned-up summary that Trump and co felt comfortable releasing. But I agree with you that the facts are all out, and we don’t need to rely on whistleblower testimony.

  59. @Todd - people on the right are continuously posting that the call transcript actually exonerates the President. I don't know what world they're living in, but I think we need someone in the GOP to explain it to them...

  60. Electing a second-rate reality show actor to run the country, and now everyone seems surprised by his actions. Let’s all vote in 2020 like our livelihoods and perhaps our lives depend on it.

  61. @Mark You could not be more on target.

  62. @Mark: My question still remains - was he really elected, or was he installed? 77,000 votes is a really close margin for error.

  63. @Mark If at all we have fair elections in 2020.

  64. I want to know what phone call transcripts between Trump and foreign leaders are on the secret server?

  65. @Vsan23 I want to know the content too.

  66. @Vsan23 For your information, these 'secret servers' exist in each and every country to allow leaders make the unpopular, yet necessary calls. And that principle goes back to before the telephone was invented.

  67. @waldo -- Are you saying it's the butler?

  68. “Crazy, frightening, and completely lacking in substance . . .” What better description of Donald Trump could one ever find.!

  69. @pneaman -- "Crazy, frightening, and completely lacking in substance..." -- At first I thought this was a description of the Senate Republicans .... but now I see it is also about Trump. Thanks for clearing up my confusion!

  70. And in these comments we will have yet more indignant supporters of the Orange God King wailing about partisan attacks on their hero. Wake up and smell the coffee, people - this guy is corrupt, and incompetent, and only in it for himself.

  71. @PeteH For being labelled 'corrupt' he must have accepted payments in return for political favours. Can you name any?

  72. @waldo sounds like a purist definition of corrupt to me.

  73. @waldo Nope sorry. The corruption was in offering something of value- $391 million for "investigating" Hunter Biden and an invitation to The White House

  74. Did any of you think this would not happen? If that is the case then you are truly delusional, even more so than Mitch, or Linsey, or Marco, or any of those that show up at the rallies.

  75. Because Trump's credibility is zilch, who would any normal person believe? Because Trump's base have an emotional attachment to him, will this move the needle on removing this dangerous man from our highest office? But even if reason doesn't prevail over irrational emotion in the end, I think you have to do the right thing.

  76. @Bill Agreed. Trump has 12,000+ confirmed likes to his credit, and says things like, "my great and unmatched wisdom" (which many of us thought was a SNL comment for a little while). Why would ANYONE believe him now.

  77. @Bill His cult isn't normal, they believe the story of how Trump was just rooting out corruption wherever it exists, you almost expect him to rip open his shirt and go running off to the nearest secure phone booth, and emerge in some cape with a big C (for the word corruption, not what readers think, appropriate sure) on his chest. After all, who but Trump knows the ins and outs when it comes to corruption.

  78. For nearly three years now, Trump has acted as president of himself, serving only himself and his interests. I doubt this Ukraine call, with Trump pushing for outcomes that help him directly, is the only time this has happened. And just because Trump is saying this out loud now shouldn't confuse us. By the way, we still haven't seen the entire transcript -- this is the White House version -- and there doesn't need to be a quid pro quo, there only needs to be solicitation. Can we please speed up this impeachment process before Trump does even more damage to America?

  79. For someone who just tweeted to claim "great and unmatched wisdom" Mr. Trump shows little ability to recognize what others easily identify as criminal. I'm also reminded of his Cleveland acceptance speech (of which we do have the unreacted transcript): “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” Just begs the question which "system" he knows and which he wants to fix. Well, Congress knows how to fix this - if only the Senate did, too.

  80. @Martin--Mr. Trump is suspected of not having both oars in the water. If, as appears the case, he suffers from delusions of grandeur, then it would not be surprising if those delusions were to grow while he occupies the world's most powerful political office. And as the delusions would grow, so too would horror of the shame to result if they were to be disproven. Given Mr. Trump's record of repeated failures in business (real estate, airline, casinos, etc.) and the revelation of the fraudulence of his claim to be a self-made billionaire, each new threat to his would-be legend raises the ante. By now, the stakes are pretty high and the measures of containment are looking desperate.

  81. @Martin "... I alone can fix it..." That is the key horrific Trump statement that spells out his dismissive attitude of experts who are militarily, economically, historically, educationally, ecologically and diplomatically superior to his minimal "bully on the playground" knowledge of government.

  82. @Martin Perhaps fix is meant to be interpreted as "the fix is in" -- that is, something is rigged

  83. The enablers have to stop enabling. If an insider knows it is wrong, it is their duty to come forward.

  84. @Suzanne Moniz Except, they are all grifters, and hangers on, they are expecting to get something out of the experience of working in the white house, even if it is a giant Cheeto.

  85. Oh I don't think it's appropriate to say "Little, if any, of the whistle-blower’s complaint has been disproved." That doesn't belong in this story. Whistleblower complaints are meant to lead to investigations, they are not final reports or criminal charges whose importance is dependent on their accuracy.

  86. @Dubious Except, since Trump admitted it, it's safe to say the whistle blower complaint hasn't been disproved either.

  87. @Dubious The WH itself released a truncated transcript of the meeting that shows Trump clearly using the power of his office to ask the Ukraine to investigate political rival Biden. Trump didn't ask the Ukrainians to investigate corruption, he asked them specifically to investigate the Bidens. And that transcript covered only 10 minutes of the 30 minute meeting. God knows what else Trump said. Moreover, Trump later confirmed he had one this and said he was proud of it. AND, the WH has produced no counter-evidence. So far, it's pretty crystal clear.

  88. @Dubious Exactly. And what "little" has been proven wrong? And then "crazy... frightening...." We don't need to dig those out of THIS conversation. "in my infinite wisdom" This is Narcissistic Megalomania https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism Under ordinary circumstances the guys in the white coats and butterfly nets would be calling. Seems like no chance the 25th Amendment will be invoked though.

  89. Now this person knows how the rest of us have felt since election night: visibly shaken. Nearly three years of this so far!

  90. Such a clear and concise way to put it: "...the president had clearly committed a criminal act by urging a foreign power to investigate a U.S. person for the purposes of advancing his own re-election bid in 2020,” Amazing that the GOP and Trump sycophants are arguing that this is not a criminal act, that they are okay with the President, working from his White House office, in a phone call arranged within the structure of the executive branch that should only have to do with the business of the nation, pushed for election interference by a foreign government.

  91. @Wayne Cunningham, great comment and not only using the oval office for campaign smear tactics, but urging Ukraine to work with the attorney general of the United States (who, almost scarier, is perfectly okay with this).

  92. @Wayne Cunningham Not only amazing but really quite frightening.

  93. Just because one whistleblower's knowledge of Trump's wrongdoing may have been second hand doesn't make it any less serious. Ever hear of second hand smoke?

  94. Just because Schiff heard someone say that they heard someone say that they heard someone say that they heard Trump say something, doesn’t make Schiff wrong. But what did Trump say? Meanwhile Schiff could finally release the secret information that he kept from Mueller, that Schiff has said many times, proves Trump was colluding with the Russians. Why won’t he release it? Maybe it implicates Democrats in wrongdoing.

  95. @Jay Orchard That and the fact that the WB report was deemed "credible" and "urgent" by Republican trump-appointed IC IG and the Republican trump-appointed DNI. And trump's partial "memo". And trump on the WH lawn admitting to it and doing it again in front of rolling news cameras.

  96. Good comparison, thank you.

  97. The sheer number of people who have been close to this President who have resigned in disgrace, in horror or in handcuffs is remarkable. How anyone can believe that there is some sort of competence or normalcy in the West Wing is beyond me.

  98. @Mark Marks Clearly you have not met my mother.

  99. @Mark Marks Trump didn't conjure these people out of thin air; they already existed and their rottenness preceded him. The one revelation of this Presidency is just how many incompetents, rogues, knaves, and chameleons there are in positions of power in this country. Yeah, a real meritocracy!

  100. @arusso and the relatives of many ofter American citizens. Saints preserve us.

  101. Welcome to the 4th dimension

  102. The anonymous whistle blower heard this from an unnamed official. I get it. In that context anything goes.

  103. @waldo Did you miss the part about the Inspector General performing subsequent interviews and getting corroborating interviews about the complaints?

  104. @waldo Ah, yes. It is not important that the claims have been verified -- what is important is that the claims were made anonymously. Facts have no relevance -- what we must discover is why those facts were disclosed. What turncoat dared report the President's duplicity?

  105. @waldo The transcript of the call confirms that they had reason to blow the whistle. It does not matter that they are unnamed or anonymous; Trump's own words support the complaint.

  106. Nausea. Dread. Shame. These are my primary feelings almost every day since the election. I’m more than ready for this nightmare to be over.

  107. Nausea and dread sum up my daily feelings nicely. I try not to feel shame because we are better than this. We just need to remove the malignancy in the White House.

  108. People who work for Trump -- in the White House -- recognize the "crazy," "frightening," and "completely lacking in substance" nature of his behavior. Yet the vast majority of Republicans in Congress are willing to look the other way, make excuses, remain silent, and do anything but act to retain their positions of power. They are spineless cowards who put their own political interests ahead of the well-being and security of the nation. They all deserve to be out of jobs.

  109. @William Keep in mind, they're doing what they figure they need to to get re-elected. The base (on the conservative side -this time) and their chokehold on American politics is the real issue. Sadly, that problem can't be addressed until a more reasonable president is elected, if then.

  110. @William When you say they "are willing to look the other way," the other way is Fox News, Trump's official propaganda arm. It's as simple as that. If and when Fox News throws in the towel, the Republicans in Congress will then try to squirm out supporting Trump.

  111. @William The 'silent majority' aka tight-lipped Republicans may be out of a job if the silence continues. This is not a partisan issue.

  112. This is what bullies do. They force themselves on weaker targets, violating decency, justice and rights. Trump did that with women. He’s doing the same with the Ukraine and the Kurds. Communist China is doing the same deity the NBA, the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Uyghers, Christians, the Falun Gong. The list is long. Many of us have fought bullies and we know what is required.

  113. My increasing sense of doom tells me that nothing...NOTHING will be convincingly WRONG enough to discredit this man who is holding the White House (us) hostage. The hostility coming from the White House is (and I hope will be found to be) criminal.

  114. It's clear from this report that congressional investigators need to get their hands on the full 'transcript' of the Trump Ukraine phone call. Because the summary released by the White House wasn't "crazy" or "frightening."

  115. @RRM Agreed. Who believes for a second that the released reproduction wasn't a significantly prettied-up version of the real thing?

  116. @RRM Disagree. To those attuned to the proper boundaries of diplomatic conversations, what's in the summary is both crazy and frightening. But the full transcript may well contain more insanity.

  117. A patriot is someone who upholds and defends the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

  118. Who would have dreamed that “domestic” would mean not commies hiding under the bed, but the president, the attorney general, and the secretary of state?

  119. There was a Star Trek episode where Spock defending Kirk. who is on trial for a trumped up charge (no pun intended) postures that if he is on a planet with positive gravity and drops a hammer he does not need to see it fall to know that it did. Point being, all of this was totally predictable and could not not have gone any other way. What is remarkable is that the GOP knew it too and could not stop it. All their continued efforts is spitting into the proverbial wind. What is most sad is how much real damage has been leveraged, both physically and mentally, to our world.

  120. @mr I am reminded of the Star Trek episode with Trelaine, the man-child wreaking havoc with the crew of the Enterprise. Acts just like this president.

  121. @mr. Spot on Star Trek reference. Brilliant sci-fi. Terrifying reality.

  122. These words pretty much some up the feelings expressed by most people in the US who believe that almost everything Trump does is “crazy,” “frightening,” and “completely lacking in substance..." Most Americans are all "visibly shaken" by his irresponsible policies, inane rhetoric and narcissistic behavior. What is frightening is how 40% of Americans (and 90% of Republicans) aren't alarmed, shaken or scared by his extremely dangerous nonsense

  123. @BMD I suspect that many are shaken by the extent to which they allowed themselves to be snookered by their "Savior President." Many turned to him because they felt they weren't being heard or counted. Being so vocal and public in support, makes it much more bitter-pill painful to say, "We were taken; we were wrong."

  124. @Steven Pons Maybe we should ask that the records of the conversation be declassified and released from the super secret server where they hide his crimes. If there was nothing wrong why did they go to such lengths to hide it?

  125. Mr. Pons — your education apparently didn’t improve your listening skills or make you more honest in your argumentation. Biden did not “admit to using his office for personal gain” in the video you reference, he took credit for prompting a change advocated for by the the American government and almost all of its European allies. Please improve the quality of our public discourse by holding yourself to a higher standard.

  126. looks like Barr can come back from his hunt to find someone to disprove the Russian investigation. Trump was asking Ukraine to create one, so he can invite Putin back in the G7. What a punch of dishonesty in this Administration.

  127. @Peter barr is actually lookin for the WMDs that bush could not find.

  128. "the official" - James Mattis? John Bolton? Mick Mulvaney? It's a fairly short list. Congress needs to find out just who this was and get 1st person testimony.

  129. @Bill They stonewall and don't show up. So, how the heck can Congress do that?

  130. When guilty you usually follow up with non cooperation. Makes sense right? If innocent, you're incensed and will forward any information the Dems want. And if vindicated guess what? You win in 2020 by a landslide! Legal and political its a win-win. But the criminal occupying the WH doesn't see it this way. More info exposes to be what is true. A traitor....and Mr. Trump, you especially know what we do with traitors?

  131. "....there was already a conversation underway with White House lawyers about how to handle the discussion because, in the official’s view, the president had clearly committed a criminal act by urging a foreign power to investigate a U.S. person for the purposes of advancing his own re-election bid in 2020." Can we please impeach this guy already? What a disgrace.

  132. @Tony And, remove. It is time for mitch to forget about his wife's USG job and stand up for once to honor his oath to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

  133. Crazy, frightening, criminal. Doesn’t that sum up Donald just perfectly? Time to end the charade. What profiles in courage in the GOP will be the ones to force him to resign? How about you, Senator Romney?

  134. @NJLatelifemom I’m afraid you’ll have to show Romney “what’s in it for him?” Somehow I doubt a chapter in a future book is nearly enough quid pro quo for him.

  135. Finally, NYT, a headline that gets to what it feels like to be an American during this presidency.

  136. If this 2nd whistle-blower doesn't bring down Trump, nothing will. And it's crazy that Fox News broke this story....

  137. @YHB318 Save your breath. There will be a 3rd, a 4th, maybe an army of nameless, faceless "whistle blowers". Frankly, I seriously doubt, that even the first is not a robot.

  138. @YHB318 If you read the FOX article, the slant and gist of it is clearly different than this article's. Although they ultimate do clarify certain things and attempt to report truth, there is a lot of obfuscation because they repeat a lot of false information before they get around to it. Their readers don't have the bandwith to read through it.

  139. @YHB318 Is this true? Just searched YouTube for their breaking it and I only see a report on Fox that "The NY Times Reports a 2nd Whistleblower." Fox, is that you?

  140. Trump is compromised. He is a traitor. Everything he does benefits Putin and himself, not the Untied States of America. Time to face reality.

  141. @Tracy Follow the $$$. Just remember NO BODY LIKES Trump. So why are so many officials covering up for him?

  142. GOP says: emoluments don't matter, lying doesn't matter, paying off porn stars doesn't matter, obstructing justice doesn't matter, saying exactly how you grab women doesn't matter, fomenting hatred and racism that leads to violence doesn't matter... as long as we get our tax cuts and supreme court justices! However, pulling out of Syria is totally over the line.

  143. @Curt Coker I don't understand why this is, if someone would be kind enough to 'splain.

  144. @Curt Coker At least there's a smidgen of hope for the GOP since they finally found their red line!

  145. @Joan Bee Progressive Yeah, they found their red line 8,000 miles away in a region that the vast majority of Americans don't understand.

  146. Trump needs to be gone, YESTERDAY!

  147. Please stop with the “somebody said” reporting. This is ridiculous.

  148. Since the information was contained in an official whistleblower complaint written by a veteran cia official, it seems highly likely to be accurate.

  149. @Ian Plus, we've got a partial transcript released by the WH. We can see that with our own eyes.

  150. @Florence You prefer the "lots of people are saying it" variety?

  151. Get the full transcript!! There's more incriminating material in it

  152. Crazy? Who comes to mind when that word is spoken?

  153. "...the president had clearly committed a criminal act by urging a foreign power to investigate a U.S. person for the purposes of advancing his own re-election bid in 2020,” Coverage of this transgression continues to emphasize the purpose of the call as it relates to the president's re-election in 2020. What continues to get lost in such framing is the more simple, and actually more disturbing truth that the president of the United States was asking a foreign government to investigate an American citizen. Were Ukraine to decide to allege that the Bidens committed a crime, would our president endorse extradition of the Bidens? That's where the logic points. Impeachment is far too mild an accounting for this disaster of a president.

  154. After reading this article, I have concluded that the transcript of the call between Trump and Ukraine’s President that was released by the White House is incomplete. It is missing the part where Trump used his power over Ukraine. The complete transcript or whistleblower must provide the American lawmakers with the factual accounts. Clearly the White House is looking to coverup and control the narrative, which is meant to throw off investigations, shape public perception, and cover up any wrongdoing. Not to sound naive but why would honest people do such things when working for the American people?

  155. @Dom Maranski The transcript itself says it's incomplete, and not verbatim.

  156. @Coyoty Yes, on the very first page.

  157. The most frightening aspect to me, in this whole scandal, has been the disbelief about facts and unconditional support from the President's core base. And he has been wielding that power like a savant over many Republican lawmakers, who want to speak out, but are scared of being the target of the President's anger and subsequently losing support in their own constituents. Mr. Trump has committed numerous acts that would have gotten any other President kicked out of office. And although his removal and/or prevention of his re-election is necessary, the scariest part of this is the undying support he gets from a significant portion of the society. All this need of corroborating, and re-corroborating the same piece of knowledge multiple times stems from the need to convince that core base of his wrongdoings. But I am afraid I feel that they are beyond that. All Republican values, at least on paper, of caring for the middle class, respect for troops, civility in the society, responsible fiscal decisions, strong American foreign presence and policy, have been trampled on by Mr. Trump and yet, he is yet to lose any support from his core base. At this point, it doesn't matter how many whistleblowers corroborate the original story and the sequence of events, it's not going to change their mind.

  158. He *could* shoot a person in the middle of Fifth Avenue and some members of his base would still be loyal.

  159. As has been noted in other comment sections: If our republic survives this presidency, it will be because the Democrats were able to take over the House in the last election, and turn the tide. That may well have been the most consequential (positive) election of our generation.

  160. Voters who sent Trump to DC to "shake things up" are getting what they asked for: There is a growing list of officials "shaken" by what this President says and does. Lindsey Graham is "shaken to the core" by abandonment of the Kurds. Trump has also just pulled the US out of the Open Skies Treaty that allows NATO to track Russian troop movement just as they are massing at Ukraine's border with Belarus, which shakes me up, personally. Hearty congratulations to the GOP election machine. Bravo!

  161. @Susan Watson Trump has so blatantly done Putin's bidding from the very beginning that it is truly scandalous that the GOP keeps going along. Are they all traitors, then, or are they just that easily bought with his tax-handouts and cutting of social and environmental regulations? I guess that makes them traitors to national security, in any case.

  162. @Susan Watson He hasn't pulled us out of the Open Skies Treaty but is seriously proposing this. Nothing has been done--yet. Just the thought of this underscores the charges of treason against our chief executive. You have seriously got to wonder if he isn't Moscow's puppet. If so, impeachment couldn't come sooner. Our Republic is in danger with this present administration, many of whom are looting our coffers before the big fall.

  163. Congress ~ time to play hardball. Let's subpoena witnesses from the start (no more agreements to appear), move to contempt if they do not appear ~ or subpoena the person who will not let that witness appear and ask them why they directed that obstruction. And assess personal fines for contempt. Hit these guys who are no-shows and refusing to produce documents in the pocketbook. We'll see how far loyalty to the president goes when it becomes personal and financial.

  164. Have the Sargent at Arms of the House arrest the person who defies the subpoena and make it criminal contempt with jail time after the conviction.

  165. @MOB why can't they subpoena the secret server? Certainly members of the Gang of Eight have the clearance to view the contents....

  166. @MOB ...and don't forget that the weakest part of the human body is...the pocketbook!

  167. Everything we know about the whistleblower is hearsay. Hearsay is not admissible in court because it is inherently unreliable. What you know about the whistleblower, according to credibility experts, needs to be viewed with a jaded eye. If you are taking to the bank what you have been told, you should know that that bank is very shaky. The whistleblower is not going to testify and his complaint is inadmissible. If you think the case against Trump is strong, you need to remember that there isn’t much evidence.

  168. @michjas this is not an ordinary court and an ordinary trial. The rules of evidence are not the same, and the presumption of innocence is not a given. This is a political process, similar to a civil case, where the preponderance of evidence ends being a significant factor.

  169. @michjas His call for China to investigate Bidens the other day leaves very little doubt. Not sure where the information about the whistleblower(s) not testifying comes from. I expect that more people, including the ones that were on the call will come forward.

  170. @michjas Impeachment is a political process, not a court of law. Normal legal rules do not apply.

  171. Time for the 25th Amendment. The event reported here was already enough. Trump's go-ahead to Turkey puts the matter beyond dispute. Serious impairment, a risk to international stability.

  172. Not much new here. What’s needed is an avalanche of folks with direct knowledge to come forward. Numbers will not only make the case stronger, they will add some level of protection to the individuals. One or two whistle blowers are vulnerable to attack and discredit.

  173. @Larry Jordan Once the investigtion starts, the avalanche of folks with direct knowledge will come forward, or be approached. It always starts with one brave individual.

  174. Numbers didn't matter for the 18 women who accused Trump of various degrees of sexual misconduct.

  175. @Larry Jordan This is playing like a reality tv version of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

  176. Eventually, this will all lead to a defining moment in US history, It will be interesting to see what it takes for everyday Republicans to finally understand how their words and actions will be remembered. History will note to what lengths they were willing to go to put party above country.

  177. @Mford The republicans don’t care about history or consequences. They are incapable of what I learned to call “delayed gratification.” They will always go for the immediate reward or pleasure even though it will have future negative results. That’s how you can make sense of their refusal to act on everything from climate change and fossil fuel to gun control or impeachment. They’ll always go for the immediate gratification of re-election or group safety. Sad.

  178. Ever since Trump strolled down the escalator in 2015 announcing his candidacy, every single thing he has said or done has been frightening....

  179. The rest of us have been visibly shaken for the last three years.

  180. I’ve literally aged palpably: both visibly and psychologically. I was aging really well up until 2016. The constant anxiety this madman and his fascist cohorts have inflicted on millions of us is utterly outrageous and we should be financially compensated in emotional damages. (I deserve a Beverly Hills neck lift at this point, at the very least.) in all seriousness, can we collectively sue Trump et al for the profound trauma the GOP has caused the innocent people of this nation?

  181. Clearly this new whistleblower hasn't been set straight by the GOP. Trump was only joking, he didn't mean it, he didn't know any better, it was just an unfortunate mistake because he doesn't have a lot of experience with the machinations of the federal government... It's so heartwarming to hear the acceptance and forgiveness the GOP are willing to show neophyte Trump. If he had done something truly insane, like wear a tan suit or ask for Dijon mustard, it would have been torches and pitchforks. Thank God for the moral compass of the party of family values!

  182. Trump has caused irreparable damage to the reputation of the United States and the institutions he swore an oath to protect.

  183. @Character Counts I disagree. As citizens and voters, we have done tremendous damage to the reputation and institutions of the United States. There is plenty of blame to go around.

  184. President's Trump's supporters don't care that he broke the law, and the GOP Senate is never going to acquit him. What happens when Trump claims fraud if he loses on election day in November 2020 and asks for the military's support?

  185. @AdAbsurdum The Senate will definitely acquit him and not convict him.

  186. @AdAbsurdum the military will take back the people's house by force. if he dies in the process so be it he'd be squatting on federal govt propertry.

  187. It's well past time to invoke the 25th Amendment, even if that will deprive us of a certain stable genius' "great and unmatched wisdom."

  188. Normal people just don't say things like that about themselves.

  189. @Rich Invoking the 25th Amendment would require the participation of the very henchmen Trump has surrounded himself with. That's even less likely than Republican Senators actually acknowledging Trump's illegal and repugnant behavior.

  190. Now everything Trump does is suspect. What is he personally gaining by abandoning the Kurds?

  191. Trump has two towers in Turkey and his business there depends on Ingratiating himself to Turkey’s leader. And it allows Putin to steer Middle Eastern policy including energy. There is an interview on Breitbart in which Trump is asked if he thinks Erdogan is a good partner and he replies that he has a conflict of interest in answering because of his business there.

  192. @Stevo He has said on TV before that he has a conflict of interest due to Trump hotels in Turkey. He is just protecting his business interests there.

  193. He's just following Putin's orders - and by doing so avoiding Putin's wrath - remember that Putin holds kompromat on trump which is the bottom line of Putin's control of trump.

  194. "already a conversation underway with White House lawyers about how to handle the discussion..." And the conclusion was to hide the transcript away in a secure server used for extremely sensitive information on national security. The "Perfect Call" had to be locked up.

  195. @cretino right nothing to hide.

  196. I am starting to wonder which remedy would be the most expedient. Impeachment, or invoking the 25th Amendment. Trump is *unquestionably "losing it", and there is precious little evidence that he *ever actually "had it" !

  197. But honestly what can be done? Trump and his lawyers just refuse to cooperate and command that no one in the White House honor requests for testimony, materials and ignore subpoenas. They just block everything. What if anything can be done?

  198. I go with the 25th.

  199. Forget about the 25th amendment, the cabinet is majority controlled by trump cronies/bootlickers. Impeachment is the only way to "at least" make a stand for law and order. The Senate can expose themselves as trump toadies/bootlickers/crime enablers by failing to convict following the House impeachment and the voters can do with that as they like. At least we'll all know who is an American and who is a traitor. Some of us are already clear about that.

  200. How many of us have known Trump to be "crazy" and "frightening" since long before day 1? When will this nightmare end? I fear it will take decades to repair the damage Trump and the GOP have wrought. And I emphasize the GOP's role, because not only will they not stop defending Trump's utterly indefensible behavior, Trump is the natural product of a political party who has long opposed basic democratic values and refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of the opposing party. The GOP is the party that refused to let a Democratic president appoint a supreme court justice, just for one example, who can't win elections without suppressing votes, as another. Yes, White House staff understood the gravity of Trump's criminal behavior, but because they are Republicans, they do nothing about it. Goodbye America, nice knowing you.

  201. I've understood trump for exactly what he is since I first became aware of him back in the '80's. I never voted for any Democrats until the last (2018) election, in which I voted for the straight Democratic ticket. Now I find that there is no reason to vote for ANY Republican/traitor candidates; only infinite reasons to vote for Democrats as a way to vote against ALL Republicans/traitors.

  202. And yet at least 40 percent of this nation will vote for him.

  203. @Mixilplix And yet, that's not a majority. Get out the vote, and get out and vote.

  204. @Mixilplix If the New York Times, et al. continue their attempts to rewrite reality to the constant benefit of the left through November 2020, the percentage will increase exponentially. Despite what the coastals believe, regular old Americans ain't stupid. Example: your Elizabeth Warren spin of earlier today. Keep it up!

  205. @Mixilplix Only 25% of the voting populace voted for him last time. Turn out was 50%, and he got slightly less than half the votes.

  206. "that there was already a conversation underway with White House lawyers about how to handle the discussion because, in the official’s view, the president had clearly committed a criminal act by urging a foreign power to investigate a U.S. person for the purposes of advancing his own re-election bid in 2020" This is not White House counsel's job. WHC is there to protect the Presidency, not help cover up the President's illegal behavior. Let him consult with his own lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, for that.

  207. I've yet to see any mention, in New York Times stories or other media reports, as to whether there is an actual recording of this phone conversation. If so, and this was, in Trump's words, a "perfect" phone call, perhaps it's time for him to share it with the world.

  208. @Ken Picard I agree. If the new defense is “he was just joking”, then why put the record on a secure server? Why not just share the humor? Oh wait, the joke is on us.

  209. @Ken Picard - No recording (it's been mentioned in national news reports that recording calls stopped with the Nixon administration) but there could very well be a word for word transcript on that code level server.

  210. @Ken Picard Since Watergate, the WH does not record the calls; instead, relies upon transcribers. I think it is time we bring back recordings.

  211. Can the President, the Commander in Chief, be Court Martialed? For conduct unbecoming, if not malpractice?

  212. @S.Starr Interesting question. As Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, can he be court martialed? He's never served -- until this role -- and he's clearly not actually "serving".

  213. @S.Starr No but he can be impeached.

  214. @Marian The only one Trump serves is himself.

  215. Sadly the Senate Republicans remain firmly behind him.

  216. @Bruce Price Let’s see if they follow him as he jumps out of the plane without a parachute

  217. @Bruce Price Most of them are as corrupt as the President is.

  218. @Bruce Price Trump's abandonment of our Kurdish allies in Syria is the first "shot across the bow" which portends the shattering of Senate Republican support for the president. Stay tuned for more to come.

  219. It was perfect, ok. Perfect extortion. Couldn’t have been better. Better than any extortion call he’s ever made because this time he used his great unmatched wisdom.

  220. @RLG Bravo and hysterical!!!!

  221. Here’s my prediction: Trump will resign. Pence becomes president and selects Nikki Haley as his vice president. Pence announces he will not run for president. Haley becomes the nominee. Given the incredibly weak slate of democratic candidates, Michelle Obama throws her head in the ring before the Iowa caucus. Haley versus Obama. Next president of United States: Nikki Haley.

  222. Not bad, not bad at all. I of course would vote for Michelle, but I could live with President Haley more than any Republican I can think of at the moment. Not bad at all.

  223. @Pragmatist in CT The same Nikki Haley who threatened retaliation if countries did not vote with the US at the U.N.? That Nikki Haley?

  224. @Pragmatist in CT In your dreams...Pence has let it be known - for years - that he has wanted to be president since his youth. He'd walk over Trump still-warm body to take office. There is one thing that "might" come true: Trump resigns due to "health concerns". He'll never admit he's done anything wrong.

  225. There was a scene in the movie the "Big Short" where Steven Carell watching a major US bank fail in real time just stands up and says the word "boom" . BOOM

  226. @Sam Thank you for that Urban definition. WH: THUD

  227. One of the most challenging aspects of this impeachment process is the idea of removing a President from office for behavior that is completely consistent with the type of behavior that got them elected in the first place. The people who voted for Trump gave him a mandate to be outrageous, tell mistruths and defy the administrative institutions that uphold American democracy. The country has been living in a state of continuous contradiction ever since.

  228. @Kieran - Don't forget that Trump is in office only due to the quirks of our Electoral College and the fact that most states award their electors "winner take all" instead of proportionally. Trump *lost* the election's popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. He has no mandate from the people.

  229. @Kieran That is the worst reason for electing trump I've ever heard. So you expected him to tell lies and go against everything our once great country stands for. The great majority of the people voted for Clinton. traitor trump was elected because of the out-dated and un-democratic electoral college. Time to get rid of it and let the majority of the voting citizens decide who should be the POTUS. And calling lies "mistruths" is a real misnomer. Call the what they are-- -LIES!

  230. i wonder what the burden of proof will be for an anonymous whistleblower to be "visibly shaken"? can that be vetted?

  231. The anonymous whistleblower was not shaken. A Trump White House official was.

  232. @flaart bllooger The whistle blower is NOT anonymous. His identity is known to the IG to whom the event was reported. And the IG vetted the complaint with a number of other officials. The LAW protects whistle blowers from retribution by shielding their identity. To intentionally “out” a whistle blower is a felony. The law was created for instances exactly like this one where the perpetrator of the misdeed wishes the whistleblower harm.

  233. Trump scares me, but even more so, his supporters. We are living in very troubled times, and I shudder to contemplate how this will all end.

  234. @William I do believe that we are seeing "active measures" being executed on an accelerated timeline. He was trying to remove obstacles for the two reasons that Russia is sanctioned. Nullifying Mueller report and This peace deal the Ukraine just signed. We need to stay very engaged because we do not know how much of the military is currently aligned with him and will step in if he's removed. It almost appears when you factor in world events of the last several years that they are planning a totalitarian regime coalition across the world. Our republican leaders must stand up for democracy. Republicans themselves must call their elected leaders to insist they stand up to Trump.

  235. What "little, if any" of the whistle-blower complaint has been disproved? Perhaps, I'm not looking hard enough, but I haven't seen or heard any of it being disproved. What exactly is that phrase referring to?

  236. Here is what I believe is the most important for voters to consider as we head toward 2020: If Trump did so many bizarre, undiplomatic, divisive and corrupt things when he still had the goal of being re-elected to another term, what do you think happens when he no longer has to placate voters? And I ask people who say they support him because their stock portfolio increased in value these past three years: what happens when the trade war with our largest customer and creditor grows?

  237. @Jean The 3 billion dollar payout to farmers going under because of the trade war with China is even larger than the auto industry bailout after the 2008 crash. In spite of that, many will lose their farms, in their families for generations. And who's going to pay up that 3 billion? We are. The taxpayers will foot the bill. Add to that the huge tax breaks given to already wealthy people, and you have a massive amount of money that not only feeds our huge deficits, but is another transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich.

  238. "“The official stated that there was already a conversation underway with White House lawyers about how to handle the discussion....." Those lawyers and officials must come forward and give testimony before Congress to further corroborate the whistle blower's account. Some senate republicans will undoubtedly persist in their defense of the indefensible, but perhaps it will embolden those who have been cowed into silence. Surely even they will come to realize what is at stake.

  239. I thought I had a lot to say- until I realized that I had no words adequate enough to describe this kind of untethered craziness. I'll leave it to the whistleblowers, journalists and other truthtellers to find the right words that will help light the way forward. Peace to all and Shana Tova.

  240. Seems time to put Barre and Pompeo - and the other minions - on the actual Trump payroll or have them draw their salaries from the RNC/Re-election Committee. If Trump is using his appointees to federal post as personal assistants, then he should carry the cost, not the taxpayers.

  241. "the president had clearly committed a criminal act by urging a foreign power to investigate a U.S. person for the purposes of advancing his own re-election bid in 2020,” While some may characterize that as "crazy" and "frightening", what's really crazy and frightening is that the president doesn't seem bothered nor phased that what he did was illegal. To him, it was more of "just another phone, asking for a favor." This guy clearly cannot or does not differentiate between right from wrong, legal vs. illegal, and yet he remains in charge and in power. The fact that the majority of Republicans don't seem to mind what Trump does or doesn't do is also “crazy" and equally “frightening."

  242. Criminal Trump is going down one way or another. Ideally, he'll still be eligible for prosecution when he does.

  243. This is a very sad and scary event communicated by Mr. Trump. I don’t believe anything close to this took place in all of American history. Waiting for the next election is way too late.

  244. I think we're going to have to look to Hong Kong for our example of democracy in action--it sure ain't happening in the Senate. Time for every good American to be carrying an IMPEACH sign.

  245. @teach But Obama is already out of office.

  246. "The whistle-blower, who had no firsthand knowledge of the events he described, wrote in his complaint that he spoke to “multiple U.S. government officials”..." The logic of the White House position is easily deciphered. It admitted to a minor offense in an effort to avert a major calamity. The initial whistleblower did not personally overhear the Zelenskyy call but reconstructed it from conversations with others. So any damage that could be imposed was limited by second-hand access, which both undercuts credibility and dissuades providing more than a bare-bones outline. So instead of the usual barrage of denials and counterattacks, the White House surprised everyone by quickly releasing its own summary of the Zelenskyy conversation, which largely followed the contours of the whistleblower complaint. Why this meekly un-Trumpian response? Well, a pregnant hint lies in the fact that the more complete first-hand summary of the Zelenskyy conversation was improperly buried in a high security computer where it remains hidden from view. It is not far-fetched to speculate that his hidden record contains some dynamite language that deeply and unequivocally implicates Trump in a bribery or blackmail offer to Zelenskyy -- one that makes the sanitized version released earlier look like mere child's play. If the second whistleblower was indeed a first-hand witness to the July 25 conversation, that could mean that the tawdry details hidden in the computer are about to be exposed.

  247. The bleachers are full and the train wreck is occurring before our eyes. A quick news update on the iPhone provides the expected next collision. The success, and indeed the viability, of future generations will be less affected by a leader brandishing blue or red than the irreparable damage caused by narcissistic incompetence at the top. Honor and integrity matter! We need to call it out when it doesn’t exist and appreciate it where it does.

  248. What about all the other staffers who have been visibly shaken by witnessing all the other crazy and frightening episodes involving this president? Why has it taken nearly three years for anyone with the guts to speak up? What happened to the discussion about invoking the 25th amendment? Why don’t these staffers, as well the members of Congress who are afraid of losing their seats care enough about our country to do something meaningful to restore order to our government? It’s truly frightening to contemplate how many choose to turn the other cheek when the United States is disintegrating before our very eyes.

  249. Man, do we need term limits for Congress! It’s the only way to remove (at least some of) the self-interest that is causing senators and representatives to put their own interests above those they are meant to serve.

  250. @L. Hoberman The President is acting like a dictator and you're worried about Congress? Check you priorities if you're not a Trumpist Brown Shirt.

  251. The clear lesson that we now have about Watergate and the cronies surrounding a corrupt president is that we cannot afford to allow them to get near government again, once they're released from prison, community service, or whatever we decide happens to them. No more Cheneys, Rumsfelds, and Barrs. The need to lose their licenses, their reputations, and their ill-gotten gains. In addition to running down the people who have enabled Trump to lie his way into the highest office in our land we will have to rein in the imperial presidency as well. Trump has shown us that our checks and balances are weak and ineffective. The transfer of money from the bloated Pentagon to his border wall is a prime example. Finally, we have to restore the control over the news so that organizations like the ones owned by Murdoch and Brietbart are nothing more than entertainment. I would go so far as to propose that the Murdochs are persona non gratis here in the US but I know that's not going to happen. There are other ways of changing their behavior, though. The US has to get money out of politics so that politicians aren't so easy to buy.

  252. " Fox News first reported details from it. " I thought it odd that Fox News would or could be a source for any useful information. Sure enough, the link brings you to the rabbit hole of their latest deflection having to do with the fact that the whistle-blower contacted House Intelligence staff first. In their world, this disqualifies the whistle-blower report, and I assume all the subsequent White House confessions and texts that confirm the report. It is sweet and kind of the Times to credit and flatter Fox as a news source. That link is proof that they are not.

  253. “Veered outside the bounds of traditional diplomacy,” you write, Mr Fandos. There was no veering, we are left looking at skid marks. Plus it seems slightly surreal to read “diplomacy” coupled in a article about this President’s actions.

  254. @Ambroisine Where is the "grandstanding - the whistleblower is anonymous and needs to remain so!

  255. @Peter Swift I didn’t invoke grandstanding. All I said was that it’s absurd to consider that President Trump might have a diplomatic bone in his body and that the author was soft-peddling. And I totally agree that the whistleblower(s) must be protected. We have no beef here, I think.

  256. Deceive, divide, destroy. It has been the Trump strategy from the beginning.

  257. This is not normal. It isn't normal for the President of the United States to call himself a "very stable genius." Repeatedly. It isn't normal for the President to refer to his own supposed, and indeed, hypothetical, "great and unmatched wisdom." It isn't normal to threaten to destroy an allied country, NATO member Turkey, if they do what the President just told the Turkish President they could do. It isn't normal to call respected senior members of Congress traitors, or call for impeaching them, as if that was a thing under the Constitution. It isn't. I disagree profoundly with Mr. Trump's behaviors and statements. I can't offer an opinion about Mr. Trump's policies or beliefs, because he blows every which way with the opinion of the last person he talked to, or the last thing he saw on TV or some crazed internet trollery. Donald Trump is manifestly unfit for office. These past few weeks he's eclipsed Richard Nixon and even the madness of King George and is saying things every day which are not only manifestly untrue, and self-contradictory, but which one sees and wonders where does this end? Mr. Trump should not have access to anything which could be harmful to himself or others, much less nuclear weapons and a military which spends as much as the next ten military powers combined. It is time, long past time, to remove Mr. Trump from office by legal means, whether that be by the 25th Amendment, Impeachment & Trial, or the ballot box. The sooner, the better.

  258. @Henry Edward Hardy There is a variant of porphyria that can turn the skin orange (I had a patient with this type of porphyria once). Maybe it's the same madness as King George's. Start with a Watson-Schwartz test as a simple low budget screening.

  259. @Henry Edward Hardy Thank you. So succinctly and articulately put. I agree wholeheartedly with what you wrote and have all my fingers and toes crossed that your final paragraph comment actually happens.

  260. Republicans have known from the beginning that Trump was unfit to be the leader of the free world, yet they keep backing him, apparently because they feel they can use him to give them what they want: lower taxes on the wealthy, a roll-back on environmental regulation, and cutbacks on anything the federal government subsidizes. Since the New Deal, they have been attempting to do away with any sort of protection for average citizens including unions. Every time I hear the daily shocking news coming form the White House, I hold the Republicans squarely responsible. They are spiraling the world into chaos, and appear to be sitting back gleefully while they are doing it. I was raised in a Republican household, but I have zero respect for today's corporate hooligans (a word much too mild for their betrayal of our democratic ideals).

  261. Well said. You have only to add the influence of the Koch brothers to have a complete history.

  262. @Manuela Very well said!

  263. Any of the Republicans who are going around trying to justify Trump's behavior should just stop and think about this for a minute: The corrupt nature of this phone call shocked enough people to lead to multiple whistle blowers to risk coming forward. Administration officials took actions to hide this phone call, knowing how damaging it was. There is no way to spin this as acceptable behavior. This simple message must get through to Trump's defenders: ADMIT THAT THIS WAS WRONG!

  264. I grew up in an Asian country where party meant little as politicians constantly changed sides to benefit themselves. I live in Canada now and am appalled at what I see down south. Outright lying by politicians on TV, manipulation of words and terms to draw illogical conclusions and blatant disregard of the law. I don't understand why citizens are not protesting in the streets against this unbelievably obvious destruction of justice and, worse, cannot believe millions of citizens are somehow convincing themselves of the innocence of a president who is behaving so unrighteously. It's so mind boggling it's difficult to believe this is actual reality in the United States.

  265. @Niz I don't understand why citizens are not protesting in the streets against this unbelievably obvious destruction of justice and, worse, cannot believe millions of citizens are somehow convincing themselves of the innocence of a president who is behaving so unrighteously. In regards to the latter half of your statement, I feel most American's agree with you, and are as repulsed by trump and his administration as you are. In regards to the first half of your statement, just after the election I attended so many anti-trump rallies, town halls and anti-gerry mandering rallies in Wilmington and Raleigh. That was in 2017. Then in 2018, there was endless phone banking, canvasing and fund raising for the 2018 elections. Because you don't see massive protests on the mall in Washington does not mean American's don't care, we care. But there is a sense that our system of checks and balances can work right now, that congress will do it's job and impeach this president (which does not folow that the senate will convict,) but it is a step in the right direction. 2020 is one year away. I feel trump will lose by a landslide. He will be little more than a footnote in history as the president impeached for abusing the integrity of the office he swore to uphold. In short, he will be remembered as the bum that he is.

  266. The White House official isn't the only one who sees Trump's behavior as crazy and frightening. The whole world is watching intently as he goes deeper and deeper into some personal state where he has become King, and his power is boundless. The courts may be considering whether a sitting president can be investigated for criminal activity, but Congress knows that it can act under the constitution to remove him from office. We need to remove him from office now.

  267. @dutchiris It was good today to hear a judge (regarding opening Mueller's grand jury evidence to the House impeachment committee) ask the House lawyer if lying to the people was an impeachable act.

  268. THE “Chosen One” creates FACTs, by twitter; transmuting, non chemically, from fictions and fantasies. HIS and of others. THE “Chosen One” creates realities. Which his minions live in while others pay rent. As well as many other harmful implications and consequences. THE “Chosen One,” dealt a flawed hand and a bad personal deal needs to be dealt with if democratic norms, values, laws, ethics, civility, and many, many people and systems are to be protected from BEing violated. Traumatized. WE the People need to...

  269. We have all been frightened and visibly shaken for the past three years now.

  270. We have to hope that the impeachment inquiry currently being conducted by the House will gather enough momentum that this currently anonymous official who was present on the call and was badly shaken by it, and others who were present, will feel safe in coming forward, either anonymously as additional whistle blowers, or better yet, by resigning and openly testifying before Congress. Such an act will take courage, but Congress must make sure the witnesses are assured of their personal safety. It's easy to see why so far, they do not feel safe.

  271. This account by a White House official is all the more alarming because the people around Donald Trump are inured to his outrageous behavior.That a White House official would find the call frightening speaks to special threats in the call.We have only seen a summary-the entire call is locked away in a secure server.We need to see the call just as the Watergate investigators needed to have the infamous Nixon tapes!

  272. First of all, subpoena the actual transcript from the classified server. That would either prove a "perfect call" or that the President of the United States is actually guilty of treason. Secondly, Trump remaining in office after these revelations presents a national security risk and the potential for an ongoing conspiracy to steal our election. We know he asked for political help from China and Ukraine. But he doesn't even need to ask any new countries for help at this point because it is universally understood that he will gladly accept favors from anyone.

  273. Meanwhile Republicans carry on as usual repeating nonsense from their weekly talking points on their index card. Republicans do not care about the national security of the US or anything else except keeping their seat warm for 2020 and beyond. It is hard to decide who is the most deplorable, Trump or the Republicans.

  274. Methinks the reason POTUS tRumplethinskin is so outraged by Rep. Adam Schiff's caricature of the conversation is that it is much more representative of the conversation than the partial transcript that was released.

  275. These are disturbing and frightening times, but the knowledge that some people are still willing to speak up is a bit of comfort. If those supporting Trump had even a modicum of backbone they would put country before party, heed the words of these whistle-blowers and the countless instances of behavior and actions unbefitting of the presidency that have taken place in broad daylight, and remove him from office.

  276. I doubt that Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and the rest of his defenders are at all surprised by these latest revelations. No one knows better than they do what kind of criminal Trump is. I'm so angry at these people, so frustrated. But most of all, I deeply disappointed and saddened that so many in the republican party have traded away their honor in exchange for power.

  277. Something is rotten in the state of this country, beginning with the highest office and extending through the party-controlled Senate.

  278. I hold a doctor degree American university doctor of education, learning disabilities. Through experience it states Trump is left-handed! This kind of person cannot handle direction. He requires people through strength. When he loses, he gambles. The people around him are wrong, except him. That shows him power! And what you have written is a perfect example of people listening to him, and then with a gamble, they cannot testify!

  279. We are only at the WHAT tip of the iceberg in this initial Whisteblower litigation. WHY was potus advocating for Ukraine’s president to submit to Putin, had to talk to the Russian president. Is that why the Putin transcript/s are locked up as well in the super-secret server? Was a promise made to Putin? Again, Russia’s agenda is being pushed for no good reason. Let’s focus on why potus is doing what he’s doing. That helps in dismissing most all of the other noise tied to attacking the investigation.

  280. From Putin’s mouth to Trump’s ear.