Here's the report. I think we can safely say the wheels are coming off the Trump train:
It's now clear that the Trump administration explicitly wanted a quid pro quo on Ukraine defense: Play ball on Biden, or no defense deal. They were pushing the new president hard from the day he was elected.
Here are reactions from the Morning Joe panel as they dig into the details.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I will jump to seven pages in. 'During the same timeframe multiple U.S. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or phone call between the president and President Zelensky would depend on whether Zelensky showed a willingness to, quote, play ball on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Litinko and Mr. Giuiliani. It goes on.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Namely, he sought the pressure of the Ukrainian leader to take action in the presidential bid. there it is, that line. He did what he has been accused of doing.
SCARBOROUGH: There are redactions, but you look at the language and it involves getting him involved in the 2020 election, dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Also, of course, that the president has involved -- it appears that the president has involved Attorney General Barr in this as well in the letter that went to Burr and Schiff. Of course, it is extraordinarily damning that the Ukrainians were led to believe they would only get cooperation from Donald Trump and the United States of America if they, quote, played ball and helped dig up dirt on Joe Biden.
CLAIRE MCCASKILL: What is really interesting is the White House distributed talking points, hamhandedly I might add, because they sent them to the Democrats too. Part of that talking point was that Zelensky brought up Giuliani first. Well, let's look at this document in that context and let's go back to April when the president called him first after the election, as Matt referenced, and started talking about how you gotta work with Giuliani. Then Giuliani announced he was going to the Ukraine. Now, wait a minute. What is Giuliani going to the Ukraine?
SCARBOROUGH: And if you go to Roman numeral ii on page three, efforts to restrict access to records related to the call. 'In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to, quote, 'lockdown' all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced as is customary by the White House situation room. The set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what conspired in the call. Let me continue. 'White House officials told me that they were directed by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which transcripts are stored for coordination, finalization, and distribution."
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: 'Instead, the transtranscript was loaded into a separate system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature."