On Thursday, The Washington Post published purportedly-leaked, classified transcripts of President Donald Trump’s conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia - but, the worst thing The Post could find to headline its expose’ is that Trump asked Mexico’s president to stop saying he’s against a border wall.
The Post article on the leaked classified documents - ironically filed in its "National Security" section - claims:
“The Post has obtained transcripts of President Trump’s January phone conversations with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.”
“The transcripts were based on records kept by White House notetakers who monitored Trump’s calls. Known as a “memorandum of conversation,” such documents are commonly circulated to White House staff and senior policymakers.
“Both documents obtained by The Post contain notes indicating they were reviewed and classified by retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg Jr., who serves as chief of staff on the National Security Council.”
After thoroughly analyzing the transcripts, this is the most compelling headline The Post could come up with to sell its scoop:
The Post story opens by describing its claimed conversation:
“In his first White House call with Mexico’s president, Trump described his vow to charge Mexico as a growing political problem, pressuring the Mexican leader to stop saying publicly that his government would never pay.”
Trump, allegedly, told Mexican president Peña Nieto that he can oppose the wall, “But, you cannot say that to the press.”
The Post’s top six ‘Highlights” from the Trump-Nieto conservation, according to its “annotated transcripts” are:
- “Trump threatens potential tariffs on Mexican goods,”
- “Trump vows to help fight the ‘tough hombres’ driving the Mexican drug trade,”
- “Trump seems to acknowledge that his threats to make Mexico pay had left him had left him cornered politically,”
- Trump asks that they avoid publicly disagreeing over how the wall will be funded
- Trump describes the wall as ‘the least important thing we are talking about,’”
- Trump tells Peña Nieto to stop saying publicly that his government would never pay for the wall.
Thus, the biggest scoops from The Post’s claimed leaked documents are that an American president:
- Threatened to use tariffs,
- Wants to fight drug smuggling,
- Says it’ll make him look bad if he doesn’t deliver on his promise,
- Discourages public opposition,
- Says there are more important problems to tackle than building a border wall, and
- Discourages public opposition (See above).