Media Outlets Cut Out Crucial Parts of Trump Transcript

September 26, 2019 Updated: October 2, 2019

CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Fox News, the Washington Post, and ABC are among the media outlets that cut out crucial parts of the transcript of the call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. See the full transcript of the call here.

CNN twice on Sept. 25 following the release of the transcript cut out 540 words between one sentence in the transcript and another without noting that anything was between the two sentences.

The deceptive edit started with a line from Trump: “I would like you to do us a favor.” CNN then immediately placed another line—”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.”

There were no ellipses or any commentary noting the two sentences were not even in the same paragraph in the transcript.

After asking Zelensky for a favor, Trump in the call said: “I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike…”

MSNBC’s Katy Tur also combined the same two sentences despite the vast gap between the sentences without noting the gap.

At NPR, which is publicly funded, ellipses were placed between the sentence “I would like you to find out about what happened with this whole situation in Ukraine” and “there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son” and the rest of the aforementioned sentence.

The ellipses represented 526 words.

Fox News’ Shep Smith flashed “I would like you to do us a favor though” before saying Trump urged Zelensky to work with Attorney General William Barr and Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani to investigate Biden, failing to mention Crowdstrike.

The Washington Post, which was accused of running a false story on Wednesday, also cut out the crucial parts of the transcript on the front page of its paper, going from the “favor” sentence to the “Biden” sentence and omitting the Crowdstrike reference.

Other stories about the transcript were revised after the fact. ABC revised a story that initially claimed Trump urged Zelensky eight times to investigate Biden. The story is now about the eight times “Trump urged Ukraine’s leader to help with investigations.” No correction or editor’s note has been appended.

Mollie Hemingway, a senior editor at The Federalist and a frequent media critic, was among those wondering about all the outlets removing the references to Crowdstrike.

“The ‘favor’? Help with DOJ’s probe of 2016 election meddling by Ukraine,” she said, sharing pictures of front pages of the Post and the New York Times.

“Neither of these headlines accurately describe that. A *great* example of the corruption of our political media, which is now running and fueling the impeachment effort against its most hated political foe.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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