The Trump White House has taken steps to restrict access to President Donald Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders after his now-infamous call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky led to his impending impeachment.
CNN reports that officials have restricted access to Trump’s foreign calls with a small number of loyalists and that “transcripts of Trump’s calls with world leaders are also disseminated to a far smaller group of people inside the White House.”
Trump’s July 25th call with Zelensky set off alarm bells among multiple White House officials after the president asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
Now, however, one official tells CNN that “nobody is allowed on the calls” and that “the barn door officially closed after the horse escaped.”
Officials who have been sanctioned to participate in the president’s calls include national security adviser Robert O’Brien, his deputy Matt Pottinger, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and his deputy Rob Blair.
However, some experts worry that keeping so many officials out of the loop will hinder the administration’s ability to conduct a coherent policy.
“National security professionals seeking to advance US policy objectives may or may not reflect or even be aware of Trump’s personal views, which are often divorced from a rational process and center on Trump’s own obsessions and political interests at the expense of the national interest,” Colin Kahl, a former national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, tells CNN. “Cutting subject matter experts and professionals out the loop will make this problem worse.”