Ari Melber got Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign spokesman to essentially admit that what the president did regarding Ukraine – putting pressure on the country’s president in exchange for damaging information on Joe Biden – was against the law.
During an interview on Thursday, the MSNBC host asked Mark Lotter, the Director of Strategic Communications for Trump’s reelection team, whether he would accept foreign election help.
“I would not violate the law, no,” Lotter responded, giving Melber all he needed to pounce.
The MSNBC host responded, “So how does it work for you when you have your president that you’re seeking re-election, he is seeking to do that?”
Melber added, “You’re telling me today you’re not looking for foreign help, but the Ukraine call notes … have the president saying, ‘Do me a favor, go after a domestic rival, Joe Biden.'”
“It’s against the law for a United States campaign to work with a foreign government,” Trump’s 2020 communications director said before Ari Melber reminded him that that’s exactly what Trump with Ukraine. #ctl #p2 pic.twitter.com/4E8tGOfdi9
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) September 26, 2019
LOTTER: It’s against the law for a United States campaign to work with a foreign government.
MELBER: And so would you do that?
LOTTER: I would not violate the law, no.
MELBER: So how does it work for you when you have your president that you’re seeking re-election, he is seeking to do that? So you’re telling me today you’re not looking for foreign help, but the Ukraine call notes, even before you get to the whistleblower, have the president saying do me a favor, go after a domestic rival, Joe Biden.
LOTTER: That is not what the transcript says and you know better than that, Ari. He says do me a favor, look into corruption. Look into the incidents that were detailed in the 2016 election meddling, which I know many on this network have said we’ve got to do more–
MELBER: Let me read to you from the administration of Donald Trump describing what this is: ‘The president wanted allegations of corruption involving an American official’ — that’s Biden — ‘to be investigated bay Ukraine. Do me a favor, investigate Biden.’ Why are you denying that when we all can see out here in the light of day – and I know we started the interview with you saying, unlike Lewandowski, you said you weren’t going to lie in this interview. I’m reading to you from what the White House put out this week, currently.
The White House’s own transcript is damning enough
While Donald Trump and his protectors are now trying to damage the credibility of the whistleblower, they seem to forget that the White House’s own transcript and call notes were damning enough.
According to the summarized transcript provided before the devastating whistleblower complaint was even released, Trump pushed the leader of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden in exchange for military aid.
By the definition that Ari Melber and Trump’s own 2020 campaign spokesman gave on Thursday, that is against the law.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.