A White House official on Wednesday accidentally sent talking points for allies defending the president to Democratic officials, then tried to “recall” the memo.
In the email, the White House laid out guidance for how supporters should publicly discuss President Trump’s July phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine. An allegation that Mr. Trump tried to use that conversation for political gain contributed to the decision by House Democrats to announce a formal impeachment inquiry on Tuesday.
But the White House list of concise points and counterpoints was also sent to the offices of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic lawmakers.
“They’re complete Orwellian lies and toxic trash, but maybe you’d like to read them to appreciate their corruption!” Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., Democrat of New Jersey, said on Twitter, alongside screenshots of the email.
Representative Brendan F. Boyle, Democrat of Pennsylvania, said that his office had also received the email. “I will not be using their spin and will instead stick with the truth,” he said on Twitter. “But thanks though.”
The email, sent by Tori Q. Symonds, a White House communications staff member, argued that there were “myths” being spread by Democrats about the phone call, which had “triggered a media frenzy of false accusations.”
It portrays the conversation between the two leaders as “entirely proper” and the handling of a related whistle-blower complaint about the call as being “absolutely by the book.” The email also made reference to the “Deep State,” a phrase that has fueled conspiracy theories of government bureaucrats working to undermine President Trump. Sharing such messaging guidance with allies is common among both parties in Washington.
Shortly after the memo went out, a follow-up message from Ms. Symonds’s account stated that she would “like to recall” the previous email. Such messages are often sent by Microsoft Outlookwhen an individual who uses the program seeks to revoke an email from a recipient who is not an Outlook user.