White House Aide Corroborates Ukraine narrative but Denies Illegality

Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times


We ran the numbers: There are 1032 news articles covering this topic. 72% (740) are left leaning, 17% (180) center, 11% (112) right leaning.

In his testimony to the House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry, former top White House official Timothy Morrison confirmed the quid pro quo between President Trump and the Ukrainian leader.

However, included in Morrison’s Thursday testimony was his opinion that the quid pro quo was not illegal. “I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed,” said Morrison.  President Trump took to Twitter following Morrison’s testimony and thanked the former White House official for his honesty. 

Morrison’s comments corroborate the testimony given earlier this month by diplomat William Taylor -- whose testimony was regarded as the most convincing evidence of the alleged quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine. In his testimony Thursday, Morrison stated that he could “confirm” that the details of Taylor’s testimony were “accurate.” 

A leftist article from The New York Times focuses on Morrison’s confirmation of others testimonies in relation to the alleged quid pro quo. According to the article, his comments corroborate information given to the House Intelligence Committee by both Taylor and Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union. However, the Times also reports that Morrison -- a longtime Republican congressional aide,“resisted making the kind of sweeping, often damaging judgments about what was taking place that Democrats have heard from other witnesses.”

In addition to providing details of Morrison’s testimony, a centrist NPR article also touches on the willingness of White House staff members to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. The article reports that, although the White House publicly stated it would not comply with the inquiry, many current and former officials have been testifying. NPR reports that while “Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and people at their level appear unlikely to cooperate, lower-level professionals and staffers have been taking part.“ 

The Daily Caller published a right-leaning article highlighting Trump’s July phone call with the Ukrainian president in the context of Morrison’s testimony. According to the article, Morrison is only the second individual to testify who was present on the phone call. In reference to the transcript of the call that was released by the White House on Sept. 25, Morrison said the memo “accurately and completely reflects the substance of the call.” Additionally, concerning the decision to place the memo on a top-secret computer, Morrison said that, if the memo was leaked, he was concerned how it “would play out in Washington’s polarized environment.”