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Fact Check: Trump Falsely Claims to Have Released ‘the Tape’ of His Zelensky Call, Telling a Completely Fictional Story

Zelensky (Credits: NDTV)

Former President Donald Trump recounted a fictional narrative during a campaign rally in Ohio on Saturday, where he claimed to have outsmarted his Democratic adversaries by releasing a supposed “tape” of his 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a pivotal moment in Trump’s first impeachment.

According to Trump’s tale, he intentionally allowed Democrats to escalate their allegations about the call, only to unveil the alleged tape later, catching them off guard.

Donald Trump at DC Roast (Credits: CNN)

Trump asserted that upon hearing the tape, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi expressed frustration with her allies for deceiving her about the call’s contents, purportedly exclaiming, “What the hell did you get me into? He didn’t do any of this stuff!”

Trump claimed that despite the revelation of the tape, Democrats opted to persist with their fabricated narrative. He concluded by stating that they were “caught” upon hearing the tape.

However, this story is entirely fabricated. No tape of Trump’s call with Zelensky has ever been released to the public, and Pelosi has never heard such a tape. In reality, the White House released a rough written transcript of the call in September 2019, which aligned with the whistleblower’s allegations against Trump.

Trump (Credits: CNN)

Presidential conversations with foreign leaders are typically not recorded by the U.S. side but rather memorialized in written form by a combination of software and officials who listen in.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was present during the call in his capacity as the top Ukraine expert for the National Security Council, confirmed that there is no recording of the call.

In response to Trump’s fictional account, Pelosi’s spokesperson dismissed it as “fact-free nonsense.” Trump’s narrative serves as another instance of his tendency to fabricate events to suit his narrative despite lacking any basis in reality.

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