The media is having a field day with the leaked transcripts of January phone calls President Trump had with the leaders of Mexico and Australia. The calls, which made headlines at the time due to a few out-of-context remarks that leaked to the press, have now been released in their entirety by some unpatriotic individual inside the administration. And to be sure, there are things in those calls that make Trump look bad. Things that his supporters can hear and question, such as his apparent willingness to back off his pledge to make Mexico pay for “The Wall.” Things his detractors can make hay with (as if they need a transcript to do that). But whatever mileage the left is getting out of these phone calls, the damage they do to our democracy is far greater.
Liberals have made excuses for this administration’s leaks on a number of occasions, sometimes heralding the leakers as “heroes” who are holding a renegade White House accountable for its behind-the-scenes actions. In some cases, they can get away with that characterization politically. It doesn’t, for instance, necessarily hurt our national security to find out that Trump ordered Chris Christie to eat the meatloaf or that Sean Hannity had dinner with the First Family. When it comes to some of the leaks that have emerged from the intelligence community, it’s a different story.
But these calls may represent the worst leaks we’ve seen thus far. The President of the United States, regardless of who may be occupying that position, is entitled to confidentiality when it comes to his conversations with foreign leaders. It is essential to his job to make sure that he KNOWS transcripts of these conversations will not be published tomorrow (or six months from now) in the pages of the Washington Post. And it is just as important for the other leaders to know the same thing.
Whoever leaked these transcripts didn’t just hurt Donald Trump; they hurt the office of the presidency for years to come. It’s unacceptable, unwarranted, and outrageous.