Odd markings on the “word-for-word, comma-for-comma,” transcript fuel doubts

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President Trump said Wednesday that his controversial July call with his Ukrainian counterpart was transcribed “word-for-word, comma-for-comma,” an assertion that fueled growing questions about the nature and completeness of an official memorandum about the call released by the White House last week.

The record, however, is unusual for lacking a tracking number that would normally indicate it had been circulated to senior subject experts and the national security adviser’s office for review and edits. Instead of a “package” number, the memo released by the White House carries a stamp saying: “PkgNumberShort.”

Such phone calls also typically create at least two types of documents: a verbatim transcript made by note-takers in the White House Situation Room and an edited summary that is more widely circulated.

“The one that was released is not the one the Situation Room created,” said one person familiar with the creation of records of calls with foreign leaders who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the secretive process. “That’s just not possible.”

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