A foreign policy expert is accusing the White House of turning off the recording equipment so that the public couldn’t get details of a call between Trump and Putin.
Raw Story has the details, “Ilan Berman, vice president of the conservative American Foreign Policy Council think tank, reported that the White House turned off its recording equipment during President Donald Trump’s call with Russian President Vladimir Putin….During a Wednesday forum on Russian-Turkish relations at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Berman suggested that the White House could not provide additional details about the call because staff had disabled recording equipment, according to Turkish journalist Ilhan Tanir.”
These are the thoughts of one expert that appear to be speculation on the part of Berman, but if true, it would represent an astounding breach of White House transparency and record keeping.
The White House readout of the call consisted of, “President Donald J. Trump received a congratulatory call today from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The call lasted approximately one hour and ranged in topics from mutual cooperation in defeating ISIS to efforts in working together to achieve more peace throughout the world including Syria. The positive call was a significant start to improving the relationship between the United States and Russia that is in need of repair. Both President Trump and President Putin are hopeful that after today’s call the two sides can move quickly to tackle terrorism and other important issues of mutual concern.”
The Russia readout is general compared some of the detail that is included in other readouts of presidential calls.
For example, here is much longer call readout from a presidential call with the King of Saudi Arabia.
President Trump spoke today with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abd Al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. The two leaders reaffirmed the longstanding friendship and strategic partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia. They agreed on the importance of strengthening joint efforts to fight the spread of radical Islamic terrorism and also on the importance of working jointly to address challenges to regional peace and security, including the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. The President requested and the King agreed to support safe zones in Syria and Yemen, as well as supporting other ideas to help the many refugees who are displaced by the ongoing conflicts. They also agreed on the importance of rigorously enforcing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran and of addressing Iran’s destabilizing regional activities. The President voiced support for the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic program. Both leaders expressed a desire to explore additional steps to strengthen bilateral economic and energy cooperation. The two leaders also discussed an invitation from the King for President Trump to lead a Middle East effort to defeat terrorism and to help build a new future, economically and socially, for the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region. The President and King Salman closed by underscoring their personal commitment to continued consultations on a range of regional and bilateral issues.
A call with Putin got five lines of text, but a call with the king of Saudi Arabia received ten
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No one would be surprised if the White House turned off the recording equipment on the Trump/Putin call. Doing so would only further the perception among many Americans that there something rotten going on between the US president, and the enemy of America that worked so hard to get him elected.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association