The White House just got caught using a highly secure document vault to hide even more calls with the foreign dictators closest to President Trump and a meeting with notes of an infamous Oval Office meeting with Russia’s top diplomats.
This week, an intelligence whistleblower’s account of a scheme to extort Ukraine’s leader for dirt on Joe Biden also exposed Trump’s misuse of the nation’s classified information systems for political purposes.
Twin bombshell reports landed tonight disclosed even more troubling diplomatic discussions hidden in the White House’s super-secret national security database.
First, news broke that President Trump is stashing his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) in that same system to keep them hidden from our nation’s diplomats and national security experts.
Then, a reporter uncovered that Trump is hiding the notes of his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and former Ambassador Kislyak, which shockingly took place right after firing FBI Director James Comey leading to the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference.
It was CNN that revealed a hidden call to MBS which is directly linked to the murder of a Washington Post journalist:
White House efforts to limit access to President Donald Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders extended to phone calls with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, according to people familiar with the matter.
The call – which the person said contained no especially sensitive national security secrets — came as the White House was confronting the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which US intelligence assessments said came at the hand of the Saudi government.
It’s unknown exactly what Trump and MBS discussed, but an anti-corruption law called the Magnistky Act requires the White House to submit a report on the Khashoggi murder which could lead to sanctions against Saudi Arabia.
Trump continues to refuse to submit that report.
Another one of the calls Trump has buried is with one with Vladimir Putin, the very person who covered up the brutal murder of the Russian tax accountant Sergey Magnitsky and then conducted an obscene criminal trial of the murdered man.
“There is a lot of unfinished business in Washington about the consequences for Saudis for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” says global anti-corruption activist Bill Browder about his murdered former associate Magnitsky to Occupy Democrats about Trump’s refusal to hold Saudi Arabia accountable. “The US government refused to supply a report to Congress under the Magnitsky sanctions legislation about that murder. If there was any discussion about that with the Saudis, that will be very interesting to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.”
Ultimately, it was that state-sanctioned murder led Congress to enact a synonymous anti-corruption law that first sanctioned Russian officials, which was later expanded to target sanctions against all human rights abusers in the Global Magnitsky Act.
Earlier today, the Kremlin complained publicly that it doesn’t want Trump to release the transcripts of his calls with Putin.
That’s unsurprising since Russia has been desperate to maintain its outstanding relationship with President Trump after helping him win office in 2016.
And that is why the Post’s revelations about the Oval Office meeting between the Putin-aided President heaping praise the Russian Federation’s top diplomatic officials for helping him is explosive. They wrote:
“President Trump told two senior Russian officials in a 2017 Oval Office meeting that he was unconcerned about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election because the United States did the same in other countries, an assertion that prompted alarmed White House officials to limit access to the remarks to an unusually small number of people, according to three former officials with knowledge of the matter.”
“White House officials were particularly distressed by Trump’s election remarks because it appeared the president was forgiving Russia for an attack that had been designed to help elect him, the three former officials said.”
“Trump also seemed to invite Russia to interfere in other countries’ elections, they said.”
Trump’s meeting with the two Russian diplomats led to an immediate outcry when they allowed one of their state-owned news photographers, widely believed to be a spy, into the Oval Office meeting, but no American photographer.
Five days after the meeting took place, his first known, major breach of national security happened when he revealed highly sensitive information about Syria to its top ally, Russia, which came from its adversary Israel.
One week after Trump fired Comey and met the Russians, Speical Counsel Mueller was appointed to investigate foreign election interference in the 2016 election campaign. Two days later, the President’s disreputable remarks to the Russians surfaced, when the Times reported he called the former FBI Director a “nutjob.”
In fact, Trump’s total unreliability led American intelligence to extract its highest placed agent inside the Kremlin, which was revealed earlier this month.
But tonight’s leak exposes a far more sinister conversation about the crooked Republican President telling a foreign power to keep up their illegal and unwanted presence in our domestic political system.
These reports also hint at an even more menacing purpose for Trump’s political use of the national security apparatus to protect the Saudi Crown Prince from the sanctions that his gruesome murder of a journalist should have triggered, which could’ve been a fulcrum to force the oil-rich nation to change its lawless ways.
The concealed phone calls reveal that President Trump has quite a lot more skeletons in the closet of the Oval Office, which could be revealed in the House Intelligence panel’s impeachment investigation, which will continue through the two-week Congressional recess that just began.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition