A precedent was established when President Trump released the transcript of the conversation between President Zelensky and himself on July 25. Yes, I know that it isn‘t a word–for–word transcript but it does give you a good idea of what was said in the conversation, even though many politicians and most of the media misrepresented it. Most press reports have ellipses between two statements by the president. Those three dots represent a deletion of 560 words.
But my main point is that we now have a sitting president releasing a transcript of a conversation with a foreign leader. I have seen a number of pundits express concern that this will affect future conversations foreign leaders will have with this president and future presidents. We now have members of Congress wanting to see other transcripts of conversations Trump has had with foreign leaders.
The damage has been done, so I am in favor of releasing past transcripts. We would love to know what President Obama said to Russian President Vladimir Putin. After all, we already have the comments that Obama whispered on an open microphone to then–Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Obama reminded him that, “This is my last election.” Then he added that, “After my election I have more flexibility.”
Let‘s get the transcripts of the phone conversations between Obama and Putin. I am sure there are lots of interesting tidbits that the American people need to know. And you can‘t argue that this would be covered by executive privilege. Obama is out of office.
Let‘s get the transcripts related to the Iran nuclear deal. Let‘s read what President Obama and Secretary Kerry promised the leaders of Iran. When did they offer to send $1.7 billion in cash on a plane to Iran? The transcripts would answer lots of questions. We are all waiting to see them.