Sep 27, 2019

Russia: "We would like to hope" Trump-Putin calls would never be released

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that he "would like to hope" that President Trump won't publish accounts of his calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin, reports the AP.

Why it matters: Pekov noted that while the implications of the now-public call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky created a domestic problem for the president, it remains "quite unusual" to release a confidential call between world leaders.

  • A spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry also brushed off the impeachment inquiry that has come about as a result of the Ukraine controversy, asking, "Is it the Democrats' job to make a laughing stock of the United States?"

The big picture: Many of Trump's interactions with Putin have been behind closed doors — and the president has been secretive about his talks with the Russian leader.

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Russia says White House must ask for consent to release Trump-Putin phone calls

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The Russian government said Monday that the White House must ask for consent to publish transcripts of phone calls between President Trump and Vladimir Putin because such releases are "not normal diplomatic practice," Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The White House's release of a summary of Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine may have set a dangerous new precedent now that the conversation is at the center of an impeachment inquiry. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Democrats will try to get the transcripts of the president's calls with other world leaders, especially in light of reports that Trump's calls with Putin and Saudi Arabian leaders were also stored on a secret national security system.

Go deeper: The new precedent set by White House's release of Ukraine call

Keep ReadingArrowSep 30, 2019

White House release of Ukraine call threatens new precedent

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Trump’s decision to release the contents of his July call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky has set a precedent his administration will have trouble containing.

Why it matters: Nicholas Burns, former undersecretary of state to George W. Bush, tells Axios that administrations try to keep presidential calls with foreign leaders confidential because "you want to preserve the ability to work with these people and you don’t want to embarrass them."

Go deeperArrowSep 29, 2019

Report: Putin and Hungary PM denigrated Ukraine to Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán during a February press conference in Budapest.

Russian President Vladi­mir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán denigrated Ukraine during conversations with President Trump, the Washington Post first reported Monday. The New York Times reports Trump met with Orbán 10 days before a key Ukraine meeting, despite objections from then-national security adviser John Bolton.

Why it matters: Per the NYT, Trump’s concerns on U.S. ally Ukraine "set the stage for events that led to the impeachment inquiry against him." The May 13 meeting with fierce Ukraine critic Orbán and a May 3 phone call between Trump and Putin "are of intense interest to House investigators seeking to piece together the back story that led to the president’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrats," the Times said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 22, 2019