Recently transcripts of Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders were leaked to the Washington Post. On Thursday the transcripts of Trump’s private phone call with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Austrian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull were released to the public.
The release of the transcripts appears to demonstrate two things. First, they show that Trump’s views on the border wall are not only a security issue, but also a political necessity. The transcripts quote Trump and Pena Nieto negotiating over the funding of the border wall. Apparently, Trump asked the Mexican president to follow his lead and issue a vague statement about the funding of the wall.
Trump requested that Pena Nieto not tell the press that Mexico won't pay for the wall, stating that “The press is going to go with that, and I cannot live with that.”
Showing that he believes the wall is largely be a political issue, something he must do because he promised it to his supporters, Trump also called the wall “the last important thing we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important.”
Democrats have often celebrated the abundance of leaks coming out of the White House, but many critics believe that recent leaks go too far.
According to The Hill, former National Security Council official Ned Price believes, “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.”
“We must draw the line somewhere,” he also stated, while remarking that anonymous leaks have become commonplace in the White House.
Fox News reports that a recent report written by Republicans on the Senate’s homeland security panel warned that the Trump administration faces an alarming amount of leaks. These leaks, the panel warned, has the potential to harm US national security. The 24-page report estimated that the Trump administration has had about one leak per day.
“It’s probably not a good thing, in general, for transcripts like these to leak,” writes The Atlantic. “Some elements of statecraft are necessarily private, and if they leak regularly, foreign leaders may be wary of speaking to Trump; or they might leak their own transcripts to try to inoculate themselves.”