Leaking Trump's Phone Calls Is 'Shocking and Dangerous'
Everything you need to know about the leaked transcripts
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2017 2:59 PM CDT
In this photo taken Jan. 28, 2017, President Trump speaks on the phone with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – The transcripts of President Trump's conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia leaked to the Washington Post are giving Americans insight into Trump's negotiating style and how he's relating to America's allies, but David Frum at the Atlantic writes the leak of the transcripts is "unprecedented, shocking, and dangerous." Frum says it's vital foreign leaders know they can speak freely with Trump without their words getting out. "No leader will again speak candidly on the phone to Washington, DC—at least for the duration of this presidency, and perhaps for longer," Frum writes. He says the leaks are evidence of the "cycle of self-destruction" Trump has started in which his misconduct spurs misconduct from the opposition. Here's what else you need to know about the leaked transcripts:

  • The transcripts show Trump continues to lie to the public, the Guardian reports. For example, he accused accounts of his contentious phone call with Australia's Malcolm Turnbull of being "FAKE NEWS," claiming the conversation was "very civil." The transcripts show it was anything but.
  • Meanwhile, Splinter has used bits and pieces of the transcripts to compose a "beautiful, agonizing love letter": "Your words are so beautiful. Those are beautiful words and I do not think I can speak that beautifully."
  • In addition to being angry over the leak itself, Trump is certain to be upset the transcript of his conversation with Mexico's Enrique Peña Nieto shows him admitting the border wall is about politics, not security, the Daily Caller reports. Trump asks Peña Nieto to stop saying Mexico won't pay for the wall—even if it's true—because it's making Trump look bad.
  • The Washington Post lists eight "jaw-dropping" lines from the transcripts, including Trump claiming refugees in Australia are criminals who won't "go on to work for the local milk people" and telling Turnbull theirs was the "most unpleasant call."
  • Need more? The Week has 21 "eye-popping" lines, including telling Peña Nieto, "It is you and I against the world, Enrique, do not forget." Trump also tells Peña Nieto "Your citizens are being killed all over the place, your police officers are being shot in the head, and your children are being killed."
  • During his conversation with Peña Nieto, Trump called New Hampshire a "drug-infested den." NBC News reports this didn't go over well in New Hampshire, where the state's Democratic senators called the comment "disgusting" and "unacceptable" and its Republican governor said Trump was "wrong."
  • Finally, Trump's conversation with Turnbull shows he's either unwilling or unable to comprehend the facts around the 1,250 refugees the US agreed to accept from Australia, Jonathan Chait writes for New York. Trump misstates the number of refugees multiple times, repeatedly and incorrectly calls them criminals, and eventually gets frustrated, asking Turnbull, "What is the thing with the boats?"

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