Trump on Saturday condemned the leaks of transcripts of his telephone conversations with leaders of Australia and Mexico as “disgraceful” and said his administration was searching “very, very hard” for the leakers.
Trump, speaking to Fox News, blamed “Obama people” of giving news organizations embarrassing essentials of his recent tense phone conversations with his Australian and Mexican colleagues, and said that the holdovers from the Obama administration still serving on his White House and National Security Council staff were being switched. Actually these are civil servants who work for both parties in the White House.
“It’s a disgrace that they leaked because it’s very much against our country,” Trump said, without stating why he believed that career civil servants who work in Democratic and Republican administrations were the source of the leaks. “It’s a very dangerous thing for this country,” he said.
Trump said that media reports of what seemed to be angry conversations between him and the two foreign leaders had been mischaracterized, and insisted that he had “positive” relations with both countries and their leaders.
Trump seemed mostly anxious to strengthen his spokesman’s descriptions of his conversations with the leaders of Australia and Mexico as “candid,” but respectful. Spicer noted that both leaders have disputed some of the facts as reported.
Based on the transcripts, the Washington Post and several media outlets, for instance, reported that Trump hung up on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after an angry discussion of a refugee swap exchanged by former President Obama. In a recent interview, Turnbull called his discussion with Trump “frank” but said that Trump had agreed to stand by the refugee swap negotiated by former President Obama. In one interview, he said it had been a “good week” for Australia.
In an earlier call with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Trump actually threatened to send the U.S. military to Mexico to stop drug cartels — according to a transcript published by a Mexican news organization and the Associated Press. The White House later said the comments were proposed to be “light-hearted.”
- Trump: Leaked transcripts of Mexico, Australia calls …
- Leaked transcripts of Mexico, Australia calls ‘disgraceful’
- Leaked transcripts of Mexico, Australia calls …