White House restricted access to Putin, Saudi transcripts: Report

By: Aljazeera

The White House restricted access to the transcripts of US President Donald Trump’s calls containing sensitive conversations with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Saudi Arabia, according to a media report.
Following the practice put in place after previous leaks, the documents were concealed in the ultra-secure computer system accessible with only the highest security access, The New York Times reported late on Friday, citing current and former officials.
“The Saudi calls placed in the restricted system were with King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MBS] and Prince Khalid bin Salman, who at the time was the Saudi ambassador to the United States,” the report said.
Several current and former officials said it made sense to restrict the calls given the number of leaks from the White House, it added.
Separately, the Washington Post reported on Friday that in 2017, Trump told Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that he was not bothered by Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 US elections because the US did the same in other countries.
Citing three former officials who requested anonymity, the Washington Post said the meeting was held just one day after Trump fired his FBI director James Comey, with the US president telling Lavrov and Kislyak that the sacking had relieved him of “great pressure”.
The revelations come the same week a whistle-blower report concerning a phone call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky rocked Washington.
The whistle-blower has said a transcript of the phone call was placed into an ultra-secure system for highly-classified information. The transcript was of a conversation in which Trump urged Zelensky to investigate the son of Joe Biden, the US president’s main Democratic rival.

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