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What I Learned – Vindman Says Ukraine Transcript Left Out Lengthy Sections Of Trump Bragging About Time He Was In Pizza Hut Commercial
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WASHINGTON—Raising further questions about Donald Trump’s July call to Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky, national security expert Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified Tuesday that the White House’s transcript of the conversation left out lengthy sections of Trump bragging about the time he was in a commercial for Pizza Hut. “When I saw there were numerous gaps in the official record of the call, I sought to add in the president’s lengthy explanation about how professional the production team had been and how some of the most classic moments in the ad were actually lines that he had improvised on set, but I was ultimately rebuffed,” said Vindman, telling House impeachment investigators that several ellipses in the call summary covered remarks about how Trump was a major force in making the stuffed-crust pizza one of America’s most popular fast food items, and that people still regularly approach him to compliment his acting skills in the ad. “I did not think it was proper for the president to ask another country’s leader to queue up a YouTube video of the advertisement so he could walk him through it moment by moment. In addition, while it is not reflected in the call summary, there was an explicit mention by Zelensky about the palpable chemistry the president had with Ivana Trump, even while they were in the midst of a divorce.” Vindman also testified that the transcript had been stored in a top-secret computer system along with records of other communications with foreign leaders, including a phone call with Chinese president Xi Jinping in which Trump spoke for over an hour about meeting Grimace during a 2002 McDonald’s commercial.