U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said President Donald Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president was “not OK,” but said impeachment would be an “assault” on the electorate.
Turner made the comments during a House Intelligence Committee hearing with Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire on Thursday.
The whistle blower at the center of Congress’ impeachment inquiry alleges that Trump abused the power of his office to “solicit interference from a foreign country” in next year’s U.S. election. The White House then tried to “lock down” the information to cover it up, the official’s complaint says.
Trump has denied doing anything wrong.
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“I’ve read the complaint and I’ve read the transcript of the conversation with the president and the president of the Ukraine. Concerning that conversation, I want to say to the president, ‘This is not OK. That conversation is not OK’ and I think it’s disappointing to the American public when they read the transcript,” Turner said.
“I can say what else it is not. It is not what’s in the complaint. We now have the complaint and the transcript, and people can read that the allegations in the complaint are not the allegations of the subject matter of this conversation,” he said.
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“What else it’s not, it’s not the conversation that was in the chairman’s opening statement. And while the chairman was speaking I actually had someone text me, ‘Is he just making this up?’ And yes, yes he was,” Turner said of Adam Schiff, D-California, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee. “Because sometimes fiction is better than the actual words or the text.
“But luckily the American public are smart and they have the transcript, they’ve read the conversation, they know when somebody’s just making it up.”
Schiff said Trump’s actions detailed in the whistle blower complaint read like “a classic organized crime shakedown.”