President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner met with Saudi Arabia's Vice Minister of Defense Khalid bin Salman on Monday, but the Saudis released the information to the press nearly 12 hours before the president acknowledged the meeting on Twitter. The White House Correspondents' Association flattened the president for his lack of transparency.
"It is disturbing to see the government of Saudi Arabia have more transparency than the White House about a meeting with the President in the Oval Office," said Jonathan Karl, the president of the WHCA.
"President Trump met with Saudi Arabia's Vice Minister of Defense at the White House yesterday, but the public did not learn about the meeting until the Saudi government released a statement about it today. The Saudi government also released photographs of the President and his senior advisers meeting with the Vice Minister of Defense in the Oval Office. A meeting with a foreign leader in the Oval Office should, at the very least, be on the public schedule with a read-out of the meeting released after it is over. This has been the long-standing precedent for the presidents of both political parties," the statement also said.
Trump's White House has gone underground hiding its activities from public view for the past few years. They have refused to release official readouts of calls with international leaders, instead, placing them in a secret NSA server that monitors who looks at them. The White House has also refused to release information about anyone visiting the White House and Trump's team has also refused to indicate who is meeting with Trump while he's at Mar-a-Lago.
Only after the statement came out, Trump tweeted about the meeting:
Had a very good meeting with @kbsalsaud of Saudi Arabia. We discussed Trade, Military, Oil Prices, Security, and St… https://t.co/z3ycLG0G3i— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1578423920.0
You can see the full statement from Karl below:
Full statement from @jonkarl and the White House Correspondents’ Association on Trump/Saudi meeting https://t.co/d97A8S560x— Karen Travers (@Karen Travers) 1578424193.0