Trump mocks Romney with Twitter video as Ukraine controversy escalates
President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted a video mocking Sen. Mitt Romney after the Utah Republican continued his call for the release of more information about Trump’s July call with Ukraine’s president where he discussed former Vice President Joe Biden.
The video included a compilation of news clips from Romney’s 2012 general election loss to Barack Obama paired with clips of Trump’s own 2016 presidential election win over Hillary Clinton.
Earlier Monday, Romney told reporters he believes a transcript of the President’s conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart, President Volodymyr Zelensky, should be released. “Understanding exactly what he said would be very helpful I think to determine whether the allegations, which are quite serious, are allegations that will have consequence,” he said.
On Friday, CNN reported Trump pressed Zelensky in a July 25 call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, according to a person familiar with the situation. That call was part of the whistleblower complaint submitted to the Intelligence Community Inspector General, another person familiar with the situation told CNN.
Trump on Sunday acknowledged that he discussed Biden with Zelensky but has denied doing anything improper, including that he threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine unless the country’s leaders did his bidding and investigated the Bidens.
There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
Romney also signaled interest in the administration making public the initial whistleblower complaint, saying, “I think it’d be very helpful to get to the bottom of the facts to follow the law to get us there. That would include the whistleblower as well as the transcript of the conversation.”
White House officials are now considering releasing a transcript of the call, multiple sources have told CNN, amid mounting scrutiny over the interaction. Still, some senior administration officials, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, are against the idea because of the precedent releasing it could set with future foreign leaders. Trump has suggested he hoped to release a transcript of his conversation.
Romney’s comments Monday come after he tweeted Sunday that it “would be troubling in the extreme” if Trump did pressure Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden, the President’s potential 2020 Democratic opponent.
“If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme. Critical for the facts to come out,” he wrote.
Before joining the Senate, Romney penned an op-ed in The Washington Post assailing Trump for not rising to “the mantle of the office” and distinguishing himself as a GOP lawmaker willing to criticize the President.
“A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect,” Romney wrote at the time. “And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.”