Republican Sen. Mike Lee (Utah) says the person or people that leaked transcripts of President Trump’s first phone calls with Mexico’s and Australia’s leaders should be fired. The transcripts, which were leaked Thursday, came from phone calls the president made in January, shortly after his inauguration.
Lee, who recently gave a positive review of Trump’s first six months as president, says the leaks are not acceptable.
“Whoever leaked these needs to be found out and needs to be reprimanded,” Lee said on Fox News. “This is unacceptable and should never happen.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 3, 2017
Wednesday while speaking at a conference in Washington, D.C., Lee told a group of young conservatives that while he initially disagreed with the election of President Trump, he’s now pleased with his first six months in office.
“I took a position at the time that was taking place because I had certain ideas about whether he could get elected. I didn’t think he could. I turned out to be wrong,” Lee told the conference attendees. “He has since been elected President of the United States and, in so far as he fights to restore constitutionally limited government, I will be there with him every step of the way … helping him.”
At the release of the transcripts, Lee said, “The mere fact that these leaks occurred is itself very troubling. In order for these communications to be handled effectively, the President and whoever he is talking to, whatever foreign head of state or other official might be on the other end of the line, need to have a degree of confidence that they’re having a conversation and not a press conference. ”
Lee continued, “In many cases, doing something like this could not only, and should not only, result in termination, but criminal prosecution.”
The transcripts, obtained by The Washington Post, were posted online Thursday. They detail the early calls between Trump and, individually, two other world leaders: Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
While audio of the calls were not provided to confirm the Post’s claim, the portions of conversations allegedly revealed in the leaks show the president disagreed with Turnbull over a deal which obligated the U.S. to consider accepting 1,250 economic refugees.
“This is going to kill me,” Trump reportedly said of the deal arranged by former President Barack Hussein Obama. “I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position.”
During his conversation with Nieto, Trump told the Mexican president that he needed to stop publicly proclaiming his resistance to pay for the proposed border wall.
Trump urged Nieto to switch to a less combative narrative, and that both parties should declare, “we will work it out.”
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