Steve Scalise Slammed for ‘Rewriting’ Trump-Zelensky Call

Steve Scalise Slammed for 'Rewriting' Trump-Zelensky Call

The number two House Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), was asked during a press conference on Tuesday if he had done any “rethinking” in regards to his position on former President Donald Trump withholding military aid to Ukraine.

The reporter invoked the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine while asking the question, saying:

Given where we are right now, what rethinking have you done on Trump’s withholding of military aid to Zelensky as he pressured him to investigate Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, and would you have done anything differently in 2019 if you had known the importance of Zelensky and Ukraine in this moment today?

Trump was impeached, for the first time, in December 2019 after a House inquiry made the case that the then-president pressured Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, by withholding Congressionally approved military aid, to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.

Scalise responded, saying, “If you look at that conversation, President Zelensky had called President Trump to thank him for the leadership that he provided, in fact when Zelensky got elected, he said he modeled his campaign after President Trump’s.”

“Ultimately, he got the relief money that he was asking for,” Scalise added, before claiming that it was Joe Biden, as Vice President, who actually put pressure on Zelensky to fire a prosecutor.

The clip quickly went viral on social media as Scalise was accused of “rewriting history,” while observers lauded the reporter for asking the question.

Alexander Vindman, who testified about a crucial phone call between Trump and Zelensky during the 2019 impeachment hearings, torched Scalise on Twitter, writing:

.@SteveScalise is a fool and a liar. Trump called Zelenskyy to extort a investigation of @POTUS to try to steal the 2020 election. I exposed that effort & now your efforts to rewrite history. You were complicit in inviting Russia’s war on Ukraine. Repent. #StandWithUkraine️

Robert Maguire, a research director for Citizens for Ethics, responded to the clip, saying, “This is a great question that should be asked of all Republicans over and over. It’s too bad Scalise’s response was an obvious farce, given that Zelenskyy was clearly trying to flatter a narcissist president who was illegally withholding aid in hopes of getting political dirt.”

Journalist Emily C. Singer added, “AKA they’ve done no thinking or soul searching and have zero remorse about absolving Trump for his extortion plot.”

Reuters national security reporter Jonathan Landay, wrote, “Scalise rewriting Trump’s phone call with Zelenskiy. In fact, Trump was impeached for trying to strong-arm Zelenskiy into providing “non-existent” dirt on Biden in return for the release of U.S. weapons supplies, including Javelin ATGMs.”

Below are more reactions of Scalise’s comments:

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