First, Trump didn’t do it. Then he did do it, but it was “perfect” and perfectly appropriate. Then it was all about corruption. It was never about Joe Biden, even though Joe Biden and his family were the only “corruption” that Trump seemed interested in — besides trying to clear Russia of 2016 election meddling and pin it on a debunked conspiracy theory.
Now, it’s all Rick Perry’s fault.
NBC, Axios, and other outlets are reporting that Trump claims that he never wanted to make the call, and Rick Perry made him do it.
Of course, that flies in the face of other excuses and reasons given previously.
Rudy Giuliani had insisted this call was the result of months of his own investigation that proved that Joe Biden was essentially the most corrupt person in the history of politics (though he has produced no actual evidence to back his claims).
Previously Trump had tried to get everyone to pay attention to Mike Pence — a move that ended up putting Pence in the middle of the scandal and is being asked for documents relating to the issue.
But now, forget all that — pay no attention to the man behind the curtain — it is all Rick Perry’s fault and Rick strong-armed him into even making the call.
President Donald Trump told House Republicans Friday that he was urged by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to make the midsummer phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that is now at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.
Trump suggested it was a call he didn’t even want to make, the sources said.
Text messages released this week between Trump administration officials and Andrey Yermak, a top aide to Zelensky, suggest that Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was a primary advocate for arranging the call.
There is no mention in the text messages of Perry playing a role in making this call happen.
Zelensky talks about buying American oil and wanting to work with the U.S. on energy independence, but Perry and LNG are not discussed in the 5-page memo of the Trump-Zelensky call released by the White House.
They don’t stop there …
Perry, who is reportedly resigning by the end of this year, has become increasingly embroiled in congressional Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
- In May, Perry led a U.S. delegation to Ukraine for Zelensky’s inauguration in place of Vice President Mike Pence, and Democrats have begun to press Perry for more information about the trip and his conversations with Ukrainian leaders.
- The House subpoena of Rudy Giuliani also seeks documents related to Perry’s “involvement with Ukrainian leaders last spring.”
- However, Perry told the Christian Broadcasting Network on Friday that, “as God is my witness,” neither Joe or Hunter Biden’s name ever came up.
- And as The Washington Post recently reported, “no evidence has emerged that Perry participated in the effort to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.”
SO, it looks like in the mad dash to explain this all away, the administration is now in the position where they have two opposing stories where both sides say that the other one’s pet project wasn’t mentioned. Perry claims that Biden was never mentioned in his experiences. On the other hand, in the “rough transcript” or any of the previous statements, Perry is never mentioned.
That doesn’t mean that Perry was not involved in all of this. AP sheds some light on that:
As Rudy Giuliani was pushing Ukrainian officials last spring to investigate one of Donald Trump’s main political rivals, a group of individuals with ties to the president and his personal lawyer were also active in the former Soviet republic.
Their aims were profit, not politics. This circle of businessmen and Republican donors touted connections to Giuliani and Trump while trying to install new management at the top of Ukraine’s massive state gas company. Their plan was to then steer lucrative contracts to companies controlled by Trump allies, according to two people with knowledge of their plans.
Their plan hit a snag after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lost his reelection bid to Volodymyr Zelenskiy, whose conversation with Trump about former Vice President Joe Biden is now at the center of the House impeachment inquiry of Trump.
But the effort to install a friendlier management team at the helm of the gas company, Naftogaz, would soon be taken up with Ukraine’s new president by U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, whose slate of candidates included a fellow Texan who is one of Perry’s past political donors.
It seems with each day, this story gets stranger and stranger.