'Squad' members call for impeachment after Trump releases Ukraine transcript: 'Worse than we thought'

The members of the progressive "Squad" amplified their calls for impeachment on Wednesday, rebuffing President Trump's attempts to quell concerns by releasing a transcript of his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from July.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., argued the transcript indicated the conversation was "worse than we thought" and accused the president of betraying the country.

"Folks, I am surprised the White House even released this transcript. It’s worse than we thought. The President sought to use the powers of the United States government to investigate a political opponent," she said.

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Ocasio-Cortez's comments came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced she was opening an impeachment investigation -- something the Speaker had mostly resisted until details surfaced surrounding Trump's talk with Zelensky.

"Either the President does not know the weight of his words or he does not care about ethics or his constitutional responsibilities," she said in a statement Wednesday obtained by Fox News.

“The transcript and the Justice Department’s acting in a rogue fashion in being complicit in the President’s lawlessness confirm the need for an impeachment inquiry. Clearly, the Congress must act."

The transcript, released on Wednesday, showed that Trump made no explicit mention of a quid pro quo exchanging U.S. foreign aid for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden, the 2020 Democratic frontrunner, attracted scrutiny for successfully pressuring Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating a natural gas firm where his son Hunter served on the board of directors.

As Ocasio-Cortez noted, the transcript was not a "verbatim" account but was based on "notes and recollections" of those observing the call.

Fellow "Squad" member Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., joined Ocasio-Cortez in calling for impeachment, arguing that the transcript alone was proof that Congress should pursue official proceedings.

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., plainly accused Trump of trying to bribe and extort Zelensky but, in her tweet, didn't point to any particular portion of the transcript.

The remaining "Squad" member, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., enthusiastically supported impeachment on Tuesday but didn't seem to comment on the released transcript via Twitter.

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By contrast, President Trump declared victory after the transcript's release. "Will the Democrats apologize after seeing what was said on the call with the Ukrainian President? They should, a perfect call - got them by surprise!" he tweeted.

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It seemed unlikely that Democrats would back away from impeachment since Pelosi announced the inquiry before the White House even released the transcript. Pelosi, on Tuesday, also claimed Trump's administration broke the law by suppressing a whistleblower's report on the call with Ukraine.

Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.