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

Oliver Contreras/Zuma

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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.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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