Did a slip of the tongue by Nancy Pelosi reveal that the speaker had knowledge of the transcript of the Ukraine call, before it was made public?
That question seemed to be on the mind of House Republican Conference Chairman Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., when she demanded answers on how much top Democrats knew about the explosive White House whistleblower’s complaint before it was officially made.
Cheney’s ire was raised after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s head-turning comments were made during a televised interview on Sunday.
“He told me it was perfect, that there was nothing on the call,” Pelosi said on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” referring to a conversation she had with President Trump before the Trump administration released either a transcript of his call with Ukraine’s leader or the whistleblower’s complaint.
“But, I know what was in the call,” Pelosi continued, before quickly adding, “I mean, uh, it was in the public domain.”
Pelosi’s remark drew scrutiny from Cheney and fellow Republicans because no verbatim account of Trump’s call had yet been made publicly available.
“@SpeakerPelosi said on 60 Minutes last night she knew the details of the classified Ukraine call before White House released transcript,” Cheney wrote on Twitter. “This is starting to seem like a political set up. So, Madame Speaker, ‘what did you know and when did you know it?’”
Speaking to Fox News, Pelosi communications director Ashley Etienne said Pelosi was referring only to publicly available information, and that Cheney had misinterpreted the question Pelosi had been asked. Etienne said that to her knowledge, Pelosi was not made aware of the whistleblower complaint or the contents of the transcript before they were publicly released.
Cheney’s comments came as Republicans on Monday challenged intelligence community officials to explain why a key whistleblower form apparently was changed to drop a requirement for “firsthand information,” questioning whether the timing was related to the explosive complaint on Trump’s call with the leader of Ukraine.
Representative Cheney is the daughter of former GOP Vice President Dick Cheney. As the House Republican Conference Chair, she holds the third-highest position in GOP House leadership.