“Read the Transcript,” Trump Berates Reporter Who Is Quoting Transcript

Oliver Contreras/Zuma

After casually encouraging the media to release the name of the whistleblower who spurred the impeachment investigation against him, President Donald Trump engaged in a bizarre back-and-forth with a reporter Sunday. Trump repeatedly told the reporter to “read the transcript” of Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky—even as the reporter quoted the phone call.

“Mr. President, you said ‘no quid pro quo,'” the reporter said, according to a transcript of the president’s remarks on Sunday. “The thing is, is that, in the transcript, it says—,” 

“Read the transcript,” Trump interrupted. (No full transcript of the call has been released, but Trump was referring to a memo detailing the call that was released by the White House.)

“—’I have a favor to ask you though,'” the reporter continued, quoting the memo.

“Read the transcript,” Trump repeated, pointing a menacing index finger at the reporter.

“But it says, ‘I have no—I have a favor to ask you though,'” the reporter said.

“Read the transcript,” Trump said once more, before turning to another reporter.

Watch the interaction at 11:10 below.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Give a Year of the Truth

at our special holiday rate

just $12

Order Now

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.