White House suspends practice of publishing summaries or transcriptions of Trump meetings with foreign leaders
Ending a common practice by both Republican and Democratic administrations, the White House announced the indefinite suspension of their practice of publishing publicly-available summaries of presidential meetings (phone calls, summits, etc.) with foreign leaders. The “readouts” served as the only formal acknowledgement of phone calls between leaders, but have not been published since mid-June. Since then, Trump has held two phone calls with Turkish President Erdogan and Israeli PM Netanyahu. These calls were only confirmed by White House officials after they appeared in foreign media sources. A former deputy security of state under Obama described the policy as having two important functions: the first being transparency and the second being the importance of shaping narratives. If the White House does not provide an official account, there is no official account to counter an official account released by the other party to the call. Such differences between official accounts from different governments are not uncommon.