President Donald Trump’s conversations with Ukrainian leaders must remain “private,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday.
“Those are private conversations between world leaders,” Pompeo said on “Fox News Sunday” when asked about a series of reports that Trump pressed Ukrainian officials to investigate the son of 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“I would leave whether that should be released” to the White House, Pompeo said.
Mnuchin went a step further, saying on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “I think it would be highly inappropriate to release a transcript of a call between two world leaders.”
Congress would be overreaching should it request to see such a transcript, he continued.
“What I have a problem with is Congress asking for a transcript between world leaders,” Mnuchin said. “I think that those are confidential discussions, and that’s a difficult precedent.”
Both Cabinet members acknowledged to not being on the call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Their comments come as the Trump White House attempts to deflect blowback from the allegations of Ukrainian collusion by redirecting the conversation to claims that the then-vice president threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid from Ukraine while demanding the firing of a prosecutor who was investigating gas company where Biden’s son, Hunter, held a board position.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine