After a transcripts of President Donald Trump’s private telephone conversations with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull were leaked to the press, even critics of the current White House say the leakers are venturing into territory that could endanger national security.
The leaks came via The Washington Post, detailing the president’s requests that the Mexican and Australian leaders stop making public comments that undermine his domestic policy positions.
Per The Post:
[I]n his first White House call with Mexico’s president, Trump described his vow to charge Mexico as a growing political problem, pressuring the Mexican leader to stop saying publicly that his government would never pay.
“You cannot say that to the press,” Trump said repeatedly, according to a transcript of the Jan. 27 call obtained by The Washington Post. Trump made clear that he realized the funding would have to come from other sources but threatened to cut off contact if Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto continued to make defiant statements.
The funding “will work out in the formula somehow,” Trump said, adding later that “it will come out in the wash, and that is okay.” But “if you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that.”
He described the wall as “the least important thing we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important.”
The heated exchange came during back-to-back days of calls that Trump held with foreign leaders a week after taking office. The Post has obtained transcripts of Trump’s talks with Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Produced by White House staffers, the documents provide an unfiltered glimpse of Trump’s approach to the diplomatic aspect of his job, subjecting even a close neighbor and long-standing ally to streams of threats and invective as if aimed at U.S. adversaries.
The Jan. 28 call with Turnbull became particularly acrimonious. “I have had it,” Trump erupted after the two argued about an agreement on refugees. “I have been making these calls all day, and this is the most unpleasant call all day.”
Before ending the call, Trump noted that at least one of his conversations that day had gone far more smoothly. “Putin was a pleasant call,” Trump said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “This is ridiculous.”
The content of the leaks is being used by the mainstream media to further all manner of criticism of the Trump administration.
But, really, the context of the conversations the president had with his foreign counterparts is no different than conversations had be presidents before him. The only real difference, is that Trump’s administration has a massive leak problem.
And it’s looking increasingly likely the leaks aren’t coming from the White House– but from factions within the nation’s intelligence apparatus… the deep state.
And the leaks are becoming so obvious as ploys to undermine Trump, even his critics are speaking out.
As reported by The Hill:
Many in Washington are expressing alarm that the transcripts of Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders were leaked to The Washington Post, warning that the action could undermine the U.S. government and imperil national security.
“This is beyond the pale and will have a chilling effect going forward on the ability of the commander in chief to have candid discussions with his counterparts,” Ned Price, a former National Security Council official under President Barack Obama, told The Hill.
“Granted, the White House contributed to this atmosphere by welcoming the free-for-all environment, where anonymous leaks are commonplace. But we must draw the line somewhere.”
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