White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on Sept. 26 that President Donald Trump’s mention of Joe Biden in the call with Ukraine was to address corruption, not to help him win the 2020 elections.
MacCallum began the interview with the counselor by asking if the White House views the whistleblower as a spy.
“Well, the whistleblower is someone who does not have firsthand knowledge of what happened, got that from a few other people, and then filed this … I don’t consider them to be spies. But anybody who leaks conversations that are classified or of national security sensitivity ought not to be working in the government, whoever you are. And I hope you’re watching, whoever you are. Because you have the public’s trust and you’re a public servant entrusted with top-secret and confidential information,” said Conway.
The White House Counselor said that OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) looked at the whistleblower complaint and said it was a routine diplomatic phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian president. “It was not a, quote, intelligence activity. Their criminal division said there was no campaign finance violation.”
Conway pointed to the fact that the president himself released the entire transcript, honoring transparency.
“I will tell you that I had read the transcript and now everybody has read the transcript. President Trump has continued his democratization of information, where he just, whether it’s through his social media platforms, through his press reveals, and now through releasing the entire transcript of this phone call.”
She also highlighted the fact that there was no mention of the 2020 election in the phone call or Joe Biden in that context. MacCallum questioned Conway on how she could say that was not related to the 2020 election by the fact that Joe Biden is a potential opponent in the upcoming election.
“Give me a break. We don’t need Ukraine’s, we don’t need Ukraine to help beat Joe Biden or any of the rest of them any more than we needed Russia to beat Hillary Clinton. These candidates are a disaster all their own.” Conway said.
“But I saw people lying today, including Intel Chairman Adam Schiff, began with this contrived fantasy conversation that he imagined between President Trump and the president of Ukraine. That is crazy.”
President Trump posted on Twitter, “Rep. Adam Schiff fraudulently read to Congress, with millions of people watching, a version of my conversation with the President of Ukraine that doesn’t exist. He was supposedly reading the exact transcribed version of the call, but he completely changed the words to make it sound horrible, and me sound guilty. HE WAS DESPERATE AND HE GOT CAUGHT. Adam Schiff therefore lied to Congress and attempted to defraud the American Public. He has been doing this for two years. I am calling for him to immediately resign from Congress based on this fraud!”
Conway said Trump mentioning Joe Biden and his son in the call was in the context of eliminating corruption not in the context of the 2020 presidential election, “draining the swamp. … And they’re talking about corruption. And so, in that context, the president says look at, my people are, quote, talking about Biden.”
The White House counselor was referring to Joe Biden bragging last year that he got Ukraine prosecutor Viktor Shokin dismissed by threatening a Ukraine official while on a trip as vice president.
In a newly published sworn affidavit, obtained by The Hill, Shokin said he was told the reason he was forced out in March 2016: Biden wasn’t pleased with the investigations into Burisma, an energy company for which Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, served on the board.
“The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine, and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,” Shokin wrote.
“And by the way, Joe Biden is ruining Joe Biden,” Conway said.