Pompeo, Mnuchin Shoot Down Suggestions To Release Trump-Ukraine Call Transcripts

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin brief reporters in the White House briefing room on September 10, 2019. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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September 22, 2019 1:39 p.m.

Ever since allegations emerged that President Donald Trump contacted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July to get the Ukrainian government to investigate 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden, the President has insisted that the call was “perfectly fine and routine conversation.”

Yet his top administration officials spent Sunday morning telling journalists that releasing transcripts of Trump’s calls with Zelensky to back up the President’s account was off the table.

“You know, Martha, we don’t release transcripts very often,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told ABC’s “This Week” host Martha Raddatz. “It’s the–it’s the rare case. Those are private conversations between world leaders and it wouldn’t be appropriate to do so except in the most extreme circumstances.”

“There’s no evidence that that would be appropriate here at this point,” he added.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin had the same talking point.

“I think it would be highly inappropriate to release a transcript of a call between two world leaders,” Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said during an interview on “Meet the Press” with NBC News host Chuck Todd.

He repeated his argument against allowing Congress to see the transcripts later in the interview, saying that Trump’s calls to foreign leaders “are confidential discussions and that’s a difficult precedent.”

“[Trump] says he said nothing inappropriate. So why not release the transcript?” Todd asked.

“Because again, I think these are confidential discussions between world leaders, and world leaders expect that they are kept confidential,” Mnuchin responded.

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