1/ THE NEW YORKER: Trump didn't grant Poroshenko a 2017 visit due to being "convinced an unproven conspiracy that had circulated on FNC and other conservative media outlets was true: Ukraine—under Poroshenko—had intervened against him in the '16 campaign." https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/a-ukrainian-push-for-a-white-house-visit-gave-trump-leverage-over-volodymyr-zelensky …
2/ In 2017, Ukraine wanted a full White House visit. Trump was in a JDA with Manafort's legal team and was talking to Manafort. Per the NYRB, Trump's and Manafort's legal team were lobbying Ukraine on Manafort. And then Ukraine asked for Javenlin missiles. https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/09/25/trump-giuliani-and-manafort-the-ukraine-scheme/ …
3/ Ukraine froze probes of Manafort in April 2018, right as the first Javelin sales were being finalized. The White House had raised "corruption" with Ukraine on every 2017/2018 call/meeting. Ukraine knew what it had to do to please Trump and get a visit. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/02/world/europe/ukraine-mueller-manafort-missiles.html …
4/ Poroshenko never got the full WH visit he craved—presumably because, after April 2018, he wasn't *also* able to give Trump a reopening of the Burisma case (so he got Javelins only). Zelensky entered office planning to *not* make Poroshenko's error of failing to please Trump.
5/ Trump has been shaking down Ukraine since he entered office. He successfully shook down Poroshenko in 2018 for a freezing of the Manafort probes—doing so via direct meetings, meetings by agents, public statements by his administration, Manafort's attorneys' lobbying, and more.
6/ The *only* evidence missing is the transcript of the 2017 and 2018 Trump-Poroshenko calls that—as we understand it—were likely *also* illegally placed in the same NSC archive the Trump administration used to hide the Trump-Zelensky call. We need those transcripts right now.
7/ Statements by Ukraine in 2018 that they weren't being shaken down are meaningless—Ukraine literally can't say otherwise. But they're also irrelevant, as we know from THE NEW YORKER, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS and others what was going on in 2017 and 2018.
8/ Trump's claim he was pursuing corruption in Ukraine is of course false—he's never pursued the fight against corruption for its own sake. But we also have *proof* it wasn't about corruption: because he had previously shaken down Ukraine to *stop* a corruption probe of Manafort.
9/ When THE NEW YORKER says Trump withheld a White House visit from Poroshenko due to an "unproven conspiracy [theory] that...Ukraine, under Poroshenko, had intervened against him in the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign," it refers to the August 2016 revelations about *Manafort*.
You can follow @SethAbramson.
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