President Trump's most aggressive defender at CNSNews.com is reporter Susan Jones. Over the past month or so, Jones' idea of defending Trump over the Ukraine scandal has been adding chunks of the transcript of the phone call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to various CNS articles.
A Sept. 27 article by Jones complained that Rep. Adam Schiff, "with a straight face and no hint of a smile," was being criticized for "attributing words to President Trump that Trump never said." by serving up a parody version of the phone call. Jones responded by stating that "Here is what Trump said, according a memorandum summarizing the call," followed by several paragraphs of transcript" while helpfully inserting editorial comments like "Note that the 'favor' involves the origin of the Trump-Russia investigation" and "Note that Zelensky brings up Giuliani."
Jones also uncritically passed along Trump's transcript reference to Crowdstrike without mentioning that he's pushing a conspiracy theory.
In an Oct. 1 article ostensibly about Democrats seeking censure of President Clinton instead of impeachment, Jones again complained that Schiff was "misrepresenting what Trump said -- making Trump’s words sound sinister -- in Schiff’s opening statement at last week’s committee hearing," then added that approximate section of phone call transcript, again inserting a "note that Zelensky brought up Giuliani’s name and referred to 'all the investigations.'"
On Oct. 2, Jones groused that "Democrats, including their liberal media amplifiers, are making much of Mike Pompeo's reluctance to say whether he was listening to President Trump's July 25 phone call to Ukraine President Zelensky, copying and pasting the same selection of transcript from the previous day.
Jones took a break from wholesale transcript insertion for a while, then returned with an Oct. 30 article lamenting that the impeachable offenses Trump is alleged to have committed are so far vaguely defined (as permitted in the Constitution). Jones retorted with a summary of her usual Trump defense:
In his phone call with the newly elected Ukraine president on July 25, President Trump asked Zelensky to "do us a favor" that involved Ukraine's role in the Trump-Russia investigation. The "favor" had nothing to do with Joe Biden or his son Hunter.
Later in the conversation -- after Zelensky mentioned Rudy Giuliani and assured Trump that "all investigations will be openly and candidly" -- Trump said:
... followed by three paragraphs of cut-and-paste transcript.
Jones did punt on the transcript-pasting in an Oct. 29 article, linking to the White House website's version of the transcript and stating only that "The summary of Trump's phone call with Ukraine President Zelensky can be read here in its entirety." Shelater wrote up in normal journalistic style "the part of the phone call that sent Democrats into impeachment overdrive," then editorialized (in bad journalistic style): "The 'swamp' that Trump supposedly drained is now rising up against him, with the full support of Democrats and the liberal media."
(Weirdly, in none of these articles does Jones use Zelensky's first name -- too difficult to spell, apparently.)
But Jones' reliance on the White House-released transcript of the phone call may prove to be folly. On top of the transcript not being a fully accurate one -- it's based on "notes and recollections" of staffers who listened to the call -- one of the persons who actually listened to the call, National Security Council staffer Alexander Vindman, testified that he tried but failed to make the transcript more accurate by adding Trump's reference to the name of the company Joe Biden's son had worked for.
Jones wasn't the only CNS writer to rely on the transcript; a Sept. 25 article by Melanie Arter on the release of the transcript included lengthy copy-and-paste sections.