Sen. Angus King questioned Tuesday night whether the transcript of a phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reflected the entire contents of their 30-minute conservation in July.

King told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he had “a hunch” about the transcript of Trump’s conversation with Zelensky that is the focus of an impeachment inquiry by House Democrats.

“I had two staff members from my office the other day read it aloud. And we timed it. They read it in normal speaking pace. It took them 10 minutes and 40 seconds. The phone call was 30 minutes,” King said in a televised interview. “We don’t know what is missing. It may be there was a translator involved and that made it go much longer.

“But the president of the Ukraine speaks English. That raises a question of what’s in the other 20 minutes of that discussion.”

The independent from Maine, who caucuses with Democrats, also chastised the president for accusing the whistleblower who brought the conversation to the attention of Congress of having committed an act of treason and warned the White House against threatening the whistleblower and calling him a spy.

King said treason is defined in the Constitution as siding with the enemy of the country in a war.

“To throw it around in this situation, the problem is the president feels that he is the state, you know, like Louis XIV. Criticism of him is treason against the United States. That’s not true. That’s not the way it works,” King said.

When Cooper asked King if he thought the whistleblower’s identity could be protected, King replied, “I certainly hope so. Because, you know, the president has been using words like interview (the whistleblower). But last week he used words like spy, implying execution. That’s a threat.”

King, who lives in Brunswick, will spend the next two weeks working in Maine. According to a schedule released by his staff, King will appear Wednesday morning at the Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture in Freeport at 10:45 a.m. where he and Rep. Chellie Pingree will talk about improving soil health as part of the solution to fighting climate change.

King will tour the UPS Maine Division facility on Foden Road in South Portland at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

 


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