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The ABC News scoop that a Biden probe was a precondition for a call between Trump and Zelensky seems to be falling apart; UPDATE: ABC News issues (partial) correction

UPDATE 10:32 a.m. ABC News has issued a partial correction to its story:


But as you see in our original post, journos are reporting that ABC News is misquoting Leshchenko.


Original Post.

ABC News reported last night that Serhiy Leshchenko, “an adviser to” Ukrainian President Zelensky, said it was understood by Ukrainian officials that a “discussion of Biden probe was a condition for” any phone call with President Trump:

From ABC News:

“It was clear that [President Donald] Trump will only have communications if they will discuss the Biden case,” said Serhiy Leshchenko, an anti-corruption advocate and former member of Ukraine’s Parliament, who had been a former adviser to Zelenskiy but has recently been distanced from the administration. “This issue was raised many times. I know that Ukrainian officials understood.”

But experts are warning to not “take this as the gospel truth.” From Nina Jankowicz, The Wilson Center:


And The Economist’s Arkady Ostrovsky points out that he’s a former adviser, something which ABC News gets wrong in its tweet but correct in the body of the article. Former adviser vs. current adviser is a big difference:

And Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Christopher Miller says Leshchenko “DID NOT tell ABC insistence for leaders to discuss Biden probe was precondition for call”:


According to the BBC’s Jonah Fisher, he learned of this through media reports:

FFS, media. We’re talking impeachment here and you guys can’t get this one right?


Editor’s note: This post has been updated. 

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