Pence advised Trump against releasing partial transcript of Ukraine call: report

Vice President Pence urged President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE not to release a memo detailing his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky this week amid a scandal over Trump's efforts to persuade the Ukrainian leader to direct an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump shakes up WH communications team The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic The Intercept's Ryan Grim says Cuomo is winning over critics MORE.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Pence fell in line and ultimately supported the report's public release, but privately counseled Trump against the matter when it was first raised. The White House eventually released the rough transcript, according to the Journal, because Trump felt that Republicans were losing the messaging battle in the press.


Pence argued Thursday that the readout of Trump's call with Zelensky "completely vindicated" the president, whose allies have argued that Trump never sought to tie an investigation into Biden to a concrete promise of U.S. aid during his conversations with Ukrainian officials.

Democrats have argued that media reports indicating that Zelensky knew talking about Biden to be a prerequisite for a call with Trump prove that the president was using the powers of the White House to improperly pressure Ukraine over interfering in the 2020 election.

The readout of Trump's call, released by the White House on Thursday after days of back-and-forth with lawmakers, did little to stem the calls for impeachment proceedings that grew this week and gained support from Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLawmakers outline proposals for virtual voting Mattis defends Pentagon IG removed by Trump Overnight Health Care: Trump calls report on hospital shortages 'another fake dossier' | Trump weighs freezing funding to WHO | NY sees another 731 deaths | States battle for supplies | McConnell, Schumer headed for clash MORE (D-Calif.), who announced the proceedings on Tuesday.

“The president did nothing wrong,” Pence told Fox Business Network on Wednesday. “He had a conversation with a world leader [and] spoke about issues that were appropriate issues related to our strong relationship with Ukraine, and it was nothing more than that.”

“From the day after the election, Democrats have been trying to overturn the results” of the 2016 election, Pence added. "It’s just not going to work.”