Since 2017, Trump Has Been Hiding His Transcripts With Foreign Leaders
The phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that sparked an impeachment inquiry this week allegedly was not the first to be whisked away into a top secret computer system.
Politico reported on Thursday that a former White House official confirmed such actions had been taken since 2017, when transcripts of calls between Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Australia were leaked to the press.
“I don’t think the person who leaked those was ever really discovered,” the former official said. “So there was a decision to tighten the restrictions for those who had access to those transcripts.”
The issue was brought to light after a whistleblower in the intelligence community lodged a complaint against Trump for allegedly shaking down Ukraine’s president in a July phone call, with the hope that the country would investigate his potential political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
The complaint also alleges that this was not the first time transcripts of a call between Trump and another world leader were placed into the National Security Council’s codeword-protected system “for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive—rather than national security sensitive—information.”
Officials told Politico that moving the substance of such calls, absent highly sensitive content, would severely restrict which government officials could access them, adversely impacting national security.