Trump floats halt to officials listening in on calls with foreign leaders

Source: The Hill | February 13, 2020 | Brett Samuels

President Trump said Thursday he may end the practice of having national security and foreign service staff listen in on his calls with foreign leaders after a July call with the president of Ukraine triggered his impeachment in the House.

Trump complained extensively about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in the House impeachment inquiry, during a radio interview with Geraldo Rivera, accusing him of being “insubordinate” by raising concerns about the president’s conduct on the July 25 call.

“Why are so many people allowed to listen to your phone calls anyway?” Rivera asked.

“Well, that’s what they’ve done over the years,” Trump said. “When you call a foreign leader, people listen. I may end the practice entirely. I may end it entirely.”

Top White House and national security officials typically listen in on presidential phone calls to keep everyone on the same page and create a record of the conversation.

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