The news articles appear to focus strongly on those notes that say "I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO" and the like. I appear to be missing the relevance of this, since the news seems to be focusing on the fact that these notes exist. They appear to be fairly obvious - talking points for speaking with the media with the same message that's been said from the beginning. Is there more to those notes that I'm missing, or is it perhaps a need to fill stories with what is most publicly interesting at the moment?

  • 3
    Are those notes really from him? I thought it was a photoshoped image Nov 21, 2019 at 23:29
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    @QuoraFeans I thought so too, but they do indeed seem to be his real speech notes
    – coagmano
    Nov 22, 2019 at 3:51

2 Answers 2


What the note says, how it is written, and specifically, that the Ukrainian president's name is misspelled in the note tell us a lot about the thought processes of Donald Trump in making his statement.

The note itself shows us what Trump thought most important in what he said.

The notes say so much, less about what Trump said or Sondland testified — the ambassador stated explicitly before Congress that Ukraine had been subject to a quid pro quo — than how he views himself in this moment. “THE FINAL WORD FROM THE PRES OF THE U.S.” sounds more like a dictum from the great and powerful Oz than from a democratically elected leader. The misspelling of Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky's name betrays a casual disregard for even the most basic facts of the matter. And the giant lettering supports the operating theory that Trump refuses to wear glasses that he sorely needs.

The public would have none of that additional insight without Wilson’s photograph.



Why are Trump's handwritten notes being focused on in the news?

It's not just Trump's notes that are focused on. There have been similar cases in the past, e.g. Bolton accidentally showing notes (The picture is an AP photo, so I'm not sure I can embed it here - see the article).

There have been more cases, but I don't recall by whom and searching for them is hard.

Usually, those notes contain confidential material. That's why the press zooms in on every paper carried by a politician and his or her aides: there is news to be found! It is usually an unexperienced aide that makes this rookie mistake; Experienced politicians have developed the habit to always cover their notes. In that sense, Bolton's mistake is the outlier.

Is there more to those notes that I'm missing, [..]

Given the frenzy by the press trying to capture notes, it is well possible that Trump wanted those notes to be visible and distributed widely. In other words: Trump lured the press into spreading Trump's message.

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    Interesting theory, but in this case why does he wants everyone to know that "he wants nothing" so much? If this was a cunning plan, wouldn't he have prepared a smarter message?
    – Erwan
    Nov 22, 2019 at 2:07
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    It’s a good answer up to the speculation that this was some sort of masterful 4-D chess move.
    – divibisan
    Nov 22, 2019 at 2:51
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    Is there any evidence that this was Trumps plan all along?
    – Kakturus
    Nov 22, 2019 at 12:05

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