Trump hid his calls with Putin. Now, Biden has access to them. - POLITICO

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  3 weeks ago  •  11 comments

By:   POLITICO

Trump hid his calls with Putin. Now, Biden has access to them. - POLITICO
What was said between the two leaders is a great mystery, one that advisers to the current president say is imperative to find out.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Trump hid his calls with Putin. Now, Biden has access to them.


What was said between the two leaders is a great mystery, one that advisers to the current president say is imperative to find out.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G-20 summit in Japan in 2019. | Susan Walsh/AP Photo

Few Trump-era mysteries are as intriguing as what the 45th president said to Vladimir Putin in at least a dozen rambling, off-the-cuff calls and meetings over four years. Understanding what was said between the two could help illuminate whether Trump ever revealed sensitive information or struck any deals with the Kremlin leader that could take the new administration by surprise.

Now that President Joe Biden is in the White House, he can see for himself.

"They don't need our approval to see those [records]," a former Trump White House official said, referring to the new Biden national security team. "Biden owns all the call materials. There is only one president at a time."

The Biden White House did not comment on whether it had seen the content of the calls. But so far, at least, the National Security Council has not registered any complaints with their ability to access relevant call records from the previous administration.

"It is a national security priority to find out what Trump said to Putin" over his four years in office, said one former national security official who is close to the new president. "Some things, like what happened in some face-to-face meetings where no American translator or note-taker was present, may never be fully known. But I would be very surprised if the new national security team were not trying to access" the call records.

Trump's interactions with Putin and other Russian officials were certainly far from the normally carefully choreographed talks between world leaders — Trump early on in his tenure went as far as to disclose classified information to Russian diplomats in the Oval Office.

But former senior Trump advisers said it was rare that Trump would say anything to the Russian leader that he had not already said publicly (or would simply blurt out later while complaining about "the Russia hoax"). Marina Gross, who interpreted many of Trump's calls and meetings with Putin, told associates that listening to their conversations often felt like eavesdropping on two friends chatting in a bar, according to one former official.

Still, the shadow diplomatic campaigns that flourished during the Trump administration are also top of mind for the Biden team as it works to understand the often disjointed policies of the last four years. Trump's ill-fated call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which led to his impeachment, was also hidden in the NSC codeword system, as were Trump's calls with the Saudi royal family.

"This is much bigger than just Russia and Putin," said another former Trump administration official. "It's a problem across the board for the new team — basically, trying to find out, what did [Trump] promise people left right and center?"

John Eisenberg, the former top lawyer on Trump's NSC who was involved in placing the president's calls in the top-secret server, will now be one of Trump's representatives handling some records requests from the Biden White House, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Biden NSC's Russia review is being led in part by the council's acting senior director for Russia and Central Asia, Eric Green, a veteran foreign service officer who for years specialized in Russia at the State Department. Green recently replaced Andrea Kendall-Taylor who left for personal reasons.

The Biden and Trump NSC staff consulted on a range of issues, including Russia, during the transition. And officials said it was generally thorough. In the days and weeks leading up to Biden's inauguration, Trump's outgoing NSC staff turned over binders full of material — including intelligence reports, strategy documents and information about ongoing operations — to facilitate a smooth transition.

The incoming national security team likewise grilled their predecessors on the obligations and commitments the Trump administration had made to both allies and adversaries, including to Russia. Some Trump staffers — primarily detailees from other federal agencies — remained on the NSC after Jan. 20 for the sake of continuity of government and have been helpful in answering the new NSC's questions.

"We really tried hard to do it well," said the second former Trump official, who participated in the process.

POLITICO


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JBB
PhD Principal
1  seeder  JBB    3 weeks ago

Trump is filling his Depends brand undergarment...

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
1.1  Ozzwald  replied to  JBB @1    3 weeks ago

Trump is filling his Depends brand undergarment...

You don't think he made sure to have those deleted before he left office?

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Participates
2  Hallux    3 weeks ago

I believe Biden is a tad too wise to open that boxcar, Amtrak was one of Pandora's favorite conveyances.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
3  CB     3 weeks ago

Find out everthing. Donald Trump owns nothing in the public sphere. Nothing public is his alone!

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
4  evilgenius    3 weeks ago

As we know from the Ukrainian call if something off had taken place we'd already know about it. Get back to me if they do find something news worthy, until they this is all a click bait partisan fever dream.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
4.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  evilgenius @4    3 weeks ago

For some reason, the word vendetta comes to mind here.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.1  CB   replied to  Ed-NavDoc @4.1    3 weeks ago

Presidential phone calls are classified public record possessions. (Official Business Use Only.) If there exist "private and personal" information in the call/s it is now public record.

This is not a vendetta exercise when it does happen, friend Ed-NavDoc.

 
 
 
gooseisgone
Senior Quiet
4.2  gooseisgone  replied to  evilgenius @4    3 weeks ago
until they this is all a click bait partisan fever dream

Hey......maybe we can impeach him again after this one fails. 

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
4.2.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  gooseisgone @4.2    2 weeks ago

Don't give them ideas. That's probably already on the agenda!

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
4.3  zuksam  replied to  evilgenius @4    2 weeks ago

We'll never get to hear them because that would allow us to judge for ourselves. It's much more effective to criticize Trump while never having to show proof. Biden can say they are "Deeply Troubling" no matter how mundane they are because he doesn't have to and won't be made to prove anything, and his base will lap it up like good sheeple.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Senior Participates
5  Greg Jones    2 weeks ago

could help illuminate whether Trump ever revealed sensitive information or struck any deals with the Kremlin leader that could take the new administration by surprise.

Well, considering that the calls were recorded, and multiple people were listening in....

it's doubtful anything sinister happened. We'd know it by now.

 
 
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