Someone Leaked Classified Transcripts Of Trump’s Phone Calls With Foreign Leaders
The transcripts portray acrimonious conversations between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, largely on the issues of immigration, border wall funding and refugees.
The release of the transcripts is likely to anger Trump for two reasons. First, the transcript of the phone call with Peña Nieto shows that Trump views construction of the border wall more as a political necessity than as a security issue. Trump has also fumed about sensitive leaks coming from his administration, which he sees as an attempt to undermine his presidency. Last week, Trump publicly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not doing enough to find and punish the leakers.
There is no indication in the Post report of who leaked the call transcripts. But the newspaper notes that read-outs, which are compiled from notes taken during the phone calls, are often shared among White House staff and policymakers.
In his Jan. 27 call with Peña Nieto, Trump pressured the Mexican president to stop contradicting him about funding for the wall that Trump says he wants to build at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump suggested that both he and Peña Nieto should issue vague remarks about who will pay for the wall.
“We should both say, ‘We will work it out.’ It will work out in the formula somehow,” Trump said, according to the classified transcript. “As opposed to you saying, ‘We will not pay,’ and me saying, ‘We will not pay.’”
Peña Nieto rebuffed Trump, saying that “my position has been and will continue to be very firm, saying that Mexico cannot pay for the wall.”
“But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that, and I cannot live with that,” Trump responded.
Trump also indicated that his talk