Trump Apparently Had 'Reckless and Bizarre' Call With Pakistan PM
Protocol was apparently breached on both sides
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2016 1:27 PM CST
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It sure sounded like him, but were those his exact words?   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

(Newser) – A phone call between Donald Trump and Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif took place on Monday, and Pakistan's press office took a most unusual step afterward: It released on Wednesday what appears to be a transcript of what Trump said, the Washington Post reports. "Appears" comes into play because the dialogue certainly seems to be in Trump's distinct voice, but there are no quotation marks included. Per the news office, Trump called Sharif "a terrific guy" who's "doing amazing work," said "Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people," and mentioned he'd love to visit such a "fantastic country." He also reportedly said, "I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play." Trump's office didn't confirm with CNN whether that interpretation was accurate, putting out a statement that simply said the parties "had a productive conversation about how the United States and Pakistan will have a strong working relationship in the future."

But experts in these types of calls say they're usually more formal, and CNN's David Gergen notes the president would usually have a press aide and/or national security advisers by his side during the call—probably important with a president who's blasted Pakistan in the past. Time calls the alleged conversation "reckless and bizarre," laying out the complex, tense relationship between nuclear powers Pakistan and neighboring India. "The … President-elect's ill-considered words could have serious regional and global consequences," it notes. Forbes agrees, stating the conversation illustrates "he shows no awareness of the issues." And the New Republic rails on Trump for continuing "to speak to foreign leaders on a personal line and without preparation," adding, "With one phone call, Donald Trump might have upturned America's relationship with both Pakistan and India." (Gingrich thinks Trump's tweets need oversight.)
 

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