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Senior national security official feared leaks of Trump's call to Ukrainian leader could be damaging

Nov 17. 2019
File photo : President Trump
File photo : President Trump
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By The Washington Post · Colby Itkowitz, Michael Kranish · NATIONAL, WORLD, POLITICS, COURTSLAW, CONGRESS, NATIONAL-SECURITY

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WASHINGTON - Timothy Morrison, a former White House national security official, told House investigators in sworn testimony that he feared leaks of the contents of the July 25 call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky would be damaging, so he recommended restricting access to the transcript.

Morrison, an expert on Russia and Ukraine who served on the National Security Council before leaving the job at the end of October, said he knew immediately after listening to the call where Trump asks Zelensky to investigate the Bidens that they needed to keep it under wraps. 

"I recommended to them that we restrict access to the package," Morrison said, according to a transcript of his Oct. 31 testimony released by House Democrats on Saturday.

Democrats also made public the transcript of the deposition from Vice President Mike Pence's special advisor on Europe and Russia, Jennifer Williams. 

"The testimony released today shows that President Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky immediately set off alarm bells throughout the White House," said Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff of California, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel of New York and acting Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney of New York in a joint statement. 


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