We've detailed how CNSNews.com has leaned on Republican copy-and-paste defenses of President Trump's phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman took another stab at it in a Dec. 17 article:
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) challenged the skewed reporting of CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday, calling out his misrepresentation of President Trump's July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine and noting that what Tapper "said is completely untrue." Paul later added, "you guys are not being honest with the facts here."
CNN's Tapper has made it abundantly clear that he believes the Democrats' version of the July 25 phone call, often asserting that Trump was calling on the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden in exchange for foreign aid. Tapper calls this interpretation "a fact."
However, as Sen. Paul explained, it is not a fact. If you read the transcript in context, Trump first asked about alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election and then asked about alleged corruption involving Hunter Biden, who was put on the board of a Ukrainian gas company in 2014, the Burisma Group, which paid him a reported $50,000 a month for five years (until April 2019), totaling at least $3 million.
Focusing on corruption from 2016, Hunter Biden -- who has a long history of drug abuse -- and Joe Biden's demand (in late 2015) that a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating corruption be fired before loan guarantees to Ukraine were okayed is not an unreasonable interpretation of the phone call.
During the July 25, 2019 telephone call, President Trump alluded to corruption in Ukraine, possible interference with the computers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and possible corruption involving Hunter Biden and perhaps Joe Biden.
This was followed by a copy-and-past transcript of the Tapper-Paul exchange with selective bits from Paul bolded, a selective excerpt from the Trump-Zelensky phone call (like his reporter Susan Jones, Chapman apparently thinks Zelensky's first name is too difficult to spell to be included in his article) and a transcript of Biden's statement that he got the Ukranian prosecutor fired.
Despite Chapman's protestations, it is increasingly clear that Trump intended to link U.S. aid to Ukraine to an announced investigation of Hunter Biden (whose purported "long history of drug abuse" is irrelevant to this scandal). It's since been revealed that Trump ordered military aid to Ukraine to be put on hold less than two hours after his phone call with Zelensky, and newly released emails show that the order to block aid to Ukraine came directly from Trump.
Further, Chapman's claim that Joe Biden demanded the firing of a "Ukrainian prosecutor investigating corruption" is false; the prosecutor was fired because he was not investigating corruption, and the international community joined Biden in this demand.
So not only has Chapman's article not aged well as his boilerplate defense of Trump crumbles, it contains a blatantly false statement as well. Not a good look for a "news" operation.