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WashPost Reporter: White House Never Tried to Stop Transcripts Story

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Friday, 04 Aug 2017 10:02 AM

The Washington Post informed the White House before printing transcripts of telephone calls between President Donald Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Australia, and there was never a request made to stop the documents from being published, the newspaper's national security correspondent, Greg Miller, said Friday.

"I can tell you that we absolutely went to the White House before publishing any of this material," Miller told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, while not divulging his sources for the transcripts.

"We told them what our intention was, we told them what we thought was significant in these transcripts and what we intended to emphasize in our coverage, and we have some comment in the story from officials familiar with these conversations defending the president's handling of these calls."

There was no request, Miller said, at "any point" in the discussions to withhold the information.

"I should emphasize that happens from time-to-time," said Miller. "We have these conversations frequently with the U.S. government about programs, covert programs and things like that. The government doesn't always prevail when it comes to our news organizations and others, but [they] didn't even ask."

It was "extraordinary" to get the transcripts, said Miller, as "this isn't the kind of thing we're accustomed to seeing. These are extraordinary conversations that a president of the United States is having."

The conversations included a referral to New Hampshire as a "drug-infested den," pointed out Miller, and Trump also subjected "a very, very close ally, a country that has fought alongside the United States for a century in every conflict to a stream of invective abuse really. So these are extraordinary conversations."

Miller said he does not know what would have happened if a president in the past had treated an ally or a leader of a close nation in the way Trump did the president of Mexico or prime minister of Australia, but if they had, "perhaps we would have seen transcripts like that in those cases."

The newspaper, meanwhile, is mindful of the political climate in Washington and the hostility to the news media, so "extraordinary precautions" are taken when something like the transcripts come in, said Miller.

"This is an unusual moment in our country's history, an unusual moment in journalism," said Miller.

Veteran journalist and Post associate editor Bob Woodward, also appearing on the program, defended the decision to print the transcripts and called Miller "one of the great reporters.'

"There is a process which he described which is very important to understand," said Woodward, including going to the White House for reaction.

"There's nothing classified in these transcripts," said Woodward.

"I read them three times, and I think you can argue that it shows Trump negotiating. This is a New York real estate negotiation where you say, 'hey, look, if I do it your way, I'm going to look like a dope.'"

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The Washington Post informed the White House before printing transcripts of telephone calls between President Donald Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Australia, and there was never a request made to stop the documents...
washpost, reporter, white house, transcripts, trump, leaders
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2017-02-04
Friday, 04 Aug 2017 10:02 AM
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