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White House to stop releasing summaries of Trump calls with world leaders



Trump talks to Putin by phone
speaks on the phone with Putin in the White House in January

Drew Angerer/Getty

  • The White House is halting the long-standing practice
    of releasing public descriptions, or readouts, of President
    Donald Trump’s calls with world leaders, CNN reported on
  • It’s not clear yet whether the suspension of this
    practice is temporary or permanent. 
  • Official White House readouts help the president set
    the record straight about what was said during a call, but
    Trump has been displeased with transcripts of his calls with
    world leaders being leaked to the press. 

The White House is halting its practice of releasing public summaries, or
“readouts” of President Donald Trump’s calls with world leaders,
CNN reported on Wednesday.

It’s not certain whether the suspension of releasing readouts,
which for decades has been standard bipartisan procedure, is
temporary or permanent, CNN said, citing two sources familiar
with the matter. 

The White House has not released a readout of one of Trump’s
calls with another world leader since mid-June, when he phoned
Hungarian President Viktor Orbán to congratulate him on his

Since then, Trump has also reportedly spoken with Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu by phone. 

The ending of releasing readouts comes as Trump faces scrutiny over what was
discussed during his closed-door, one-on-one meeting with Russian
President Vladimir Putin during their July 16 summit. Several
Democratic members of Congress called for Trump’s translator, the
only other American in the room, to be subpoenaed before Congress,
which Republicans ultimately

Last year, Trump reportedly felt “undermined” when transcripts of
his calls with the presidents of Mexico and Australia were leaked
to The Washington Post, CNN reported.
He was also displeased when his national security advisers’
instructions to not congratulate Putin on his re-election leaked
to the press last May. 

Former foreign policy officials who spoke to CNN said the release
of readouts, however — versus leaked full transcripts of calls —
actually help the president set the record straight if there’s
disagreement between leaders about what exactly was said during a

“There is a public interest in knowing who he talked to and what
they talked about,” former Obama administration deputy secretary
of state Tony Blinken told CNN. “Secondly, these readouts help
shape the narrative. If we aren’t doing a readout, but the other
country is, their narrative is going to prevail. ”

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