The White House has suspended the practice of publishing public summaries of President Donald Trump’s phone calls with world leaders, two sources with knowledge of the situation tell CNN, bringing an end to a common exercise from Republican and Democratic administrations.
It’s unclear if the suspension is temporary or permanent. A White House spokesman declined to comment.
Official descriptions of the President’s calls with foreign leaders — termed “readouts” in Washington parlance — offer administrations the chance to characterize in their own terms the diplomacy conducted at the highest levels between countries. While news is rarely contained in the rote, often dry descriptions, they do offer the only official account that a phone call took place. Readouts are still released internally.
Trump has had at least two calls with other leaders in the last two weeks, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The White House confirmed that the calls took place after they were reported by foreign media, but declined to elaborate on what was said.
The White House has not published a readout of a call between Trump and a world leader since mid-June when he called to congratulate the Hungarian prime minister on his re-election victory.