The biggest surprise about the Ukraine scandal is that Trump thought he could make it go away by releasing this suspicion-raising rough transcript of his call with President Volodymyr Zelensky.
It’s got us thinking about other transcripts of calls that might be stashed away in a top-secret Situation Room computer system — here are a few we’d love to see:
1- Any call with Vladimir Putin
Trump’s relationship with the Russian leader is one of the mysteries of his presidency. Judging by his simpering public appearances with Putin — including one where Trump dissed his own US intelligence agencies — these calls would be fascinating.
2- With Recep Tayyip Erdogan about Syria
Trump denies that he greenlit Turkey’s current offensive in northeastern Syria. But analysts speculate that he was out-maneuvered in a call with Turkish President Erdogan, leading him to suddenly withdraw troops from the sides of America’s Kurdish allies there.
3- With Mohammed bin Salman after Khashoggi’s death
Officials who ordinarily would get a rough transcript never saw oneafter the President and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman spoke following the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi last year. And the administration never embraced its own intelligence suggesting that MBS was to blame. This chat could explain a lot. As could calls and texts between MBS and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser.
Barring a massive leak, transcripts of these calls are unlikely to see the light of day — at least while Trump is President. But you can check out POTUS in action on the phone in these annotated Washington Post transcripts of calls with the former leaders of Australia and Mexico.
And if telephone politics is your thing, check out this treasure trove of calls by the master of the art — the 36th US President, Lyndon Johnson.