According to Ilan Berman, Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council think tank, the White House disabled recording equipment during a call between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
— ilhan tanir (@WashingtonPoint) February 1, 2017
White House Hides Details
Berman was made aware of this during a forum Wednesday on Russian-Turkish relations at the Bipartisan Policy center. When asked to elaborate on more details of the phone call, the White House was reportedly unable to do so due to the lack of a recording.
This action, if true, would show a shocking lack of transparency and record keeping. There was no clear reason given for the alleged disabling of recording equipment.
Following the phone call, The Kremlin released a 10-paragraph statement about the call, which was over an hour in length. The gist of this statement was that Vladimir Putin believed the conversation to be positive overall:
“During the conversation, both sides expressed their readiness to make active joint efforts to stabilize and develop Russia-US cooperation on a constructive, equitable and mutually beneficial basis.”
On the other hand, the White House published a vague one-paragraph statement with a slightly different tone. It stated that Trump had received a “congratulatory call from Russia President Vladimir Putin.” This was not apparent at all from the context of the statement by the Kremlin.
White House readout of Trump's phone call with Putin pic.twitter.com/6EhccqDQuy
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) January 28, 2017
Russian Influence Is Obvious
Following this glaring lack of transparency, we’ve just learned today that Trump has loosened sanctions on Russia’s Federal Security Service. These sanctions were originally imposed by President Obama. They were put in place to stop Russian intelligence agencies from cyberspying.
In the last two days, both Trump and the White House have made the connection between our president and Putin seem even more apparent. It appears Vladimir Putin’s hand is continuing to pull strings in D.C.. Even more worrisome is that we’re being locked out from seeing it happen.
Featured image credit: screengrab from Twitter