Today we learned Trump loosened sanctions imposed by Barack Obama on Russia’s Federal Security Service — which were in place to prevent Russian intelligence agencies from cyberspying. This comes on the heels of another disturbing story …
Turkish journalist Ilhan Tanir tweeted the White House disabled recording equipment during a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump last Saturday.
— ilhan tanir (@WashingtonPoint) February 1, 2017
The Kremlin released a 10-paragraph statement about the hour-long call saying Putin regarded the conversation as positive.
In stark contrast, the White House published a vague one-paragraph statement bragging that Trump received a “congratulatory call from Russia President Vladimir Putin.”
During a Wednesday forum on Russian-Turkish relations at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council think tank Ilan Berman said the White House was unable to elaborate on more details [than what the Kremlin offered] because WH staff disabled the recording equipment during a the Trump-Putin call.
Earlier this week we learned Trump’s chief advisor, Steve Bannon, was appointed (by Trump) to head the National Security Council, even though that seat requires a confirmation hearing. Bannon’s been running the NSC in secret, with no paper trail – which according to a former member of the NSC under George W. Bush – is not normal.