House Republicans are demanding transcripts of a call between President Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about a possible Russian invasion of the country be released after disputed reports over the substance of the conversation.
CNN initially reported that a senior Ukrainian official described the talk between Biden and Zelensky as “long and frank” but that it “did not go well.”
CNN reporter Alexander Marquardt, late Thursday, tweeted alarming quotes provided by the Ukrainian official.
“A Russian invasion is now virtually certain once the ground freezes, Biden said to Zelensky, a senior Ukrainian official told [CNN reporter Matthew Chance],” he wrote.
“Kyiv could be ‘sacked,’ Russian forces may attempt to occupy it, ‘prepare for impact’, Biden said, according to this official.”
A Russian invasion is now virtually certain once the ground freezes, Biden said to Zelensky, a senior Ukrainian official told @mchancecnn. Kyiv could be “sacked,” Russian forces may attempt to occupy it, “prepare for impact”, Biden said, according to this official.
— Alexander Marquardt (@MarquardtA) January 27, 2022
Release The Biden Transcript
The characterization of the phone call was immediately disputed by the White House and the Ukrainian government, according to Newsweek.
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National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne described the CNN report based on a Ukrainian official’s comments as “completely false.”
This is not true. President Biden said that there is a distinct possibility that the Russians could invade Ukraine in February. He has previously said this publicly & we have been warning about this for months. Reports of anything more or different than that are completely false. https://t.co/chkFOhwWHn
— Emily Horne (@emilyhorne46) January 27, 2022
Horne would later tell CNN that “anonymous sources are ‘leaking’ falsehoods.”
A spokesman for Zelensky also posted to Facebook that the accounts were “completely false.”
A readout of the call on the White House website makes no mention of any dire warnings to Ukraine, instead indicating that Biden “reaffirmed” to Zelensky that the United States would “respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine.”
House Republicans though, challenged the White House to clear the air by demanding they release the actual transcript of the call.
They added a video of Biden in 2019 calling on then-President Trump to “release the transcript of the call” between him and Zelensky, a call that led to the former president’s first impeachment in 2019.
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) January 28, 2022
Experts Warn Of Nuclear War
The hashtag ‘#ReleaseTheTranscript’ began trending and was the number one leading topic on Twitter Friday morning.
Releasing the transcript of Biden’s call with Zelensky seems like a logical step. The last thing all parties involved need is reckless and possibly false comments by the President escalating tensions with nuclear-armed Russia.
BREAKING: We have recovered the Ukraine call report that @JakeTapper and CNN just deleted
Please DO NOT RT this as they do not want anyone to see it! pic.twitter.com/vV67Jc1p7i
— Release The Poso (@JackPosobiec) January 28, 2022
The controversy comes as experts are warning of a nuclear exchange should Russia and the U.S. come to blows.
“As Russian troops bear down on Ukraine and the United States prepares its own military buildup in Eastern Europe, concerns are growing across the ideological spectrum that the standoff could inadvertently escalate into the unthinkable: nuclear war,” Politico reports.
The column cites “current and former officials and experts on both sides of the Atlantic” who worry about ‘miscalculations’ and ‘stumbling into nuclear confrontation.’
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) January 28, 2022
Is there anything at stake here that could justify even the remote chance of nuclear war?
Shortly after Biden was sworn into office, dozens of House Democrats quietly called on President Biden to relinquish sole control over the country’s nuclear arsenal and the ability to launch a strike using those weapons.
Nearly three dozen House Democrats on Monday called on Biden to relinquish his sole authority to launch nuclear weapons, in the latest appeal to reform the command-and-control structure so that no single person can initiate a nuclear war https://t.co/AOIHaYf1b4 pic.twitter.com/OSKJ64d3cW
— POLITICO (@politico) February 23, 2021
The movement stalled.
General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, assured House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that in the waning days of the Trump presidency, a President couldn’t launch a nuclear attack alone.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 15, 2021
The State Department in November said “all options are on the table and there’s a toolkit that includes a whole range of options” in how to respond to Russia’s troop buildup near Ukraine’s border.