Leaking phone calls is always a risky deal considering that you’ll be releasing private conversation that sometimes needs to remain private in order to respect the rights of the people involved. Naturally, this is something that has happened many times with celebrities, businessmen, and politics, sometimes opening a major scandal and harming the reputation of the media outlet that released it, when the content of the conversation is not exactly a bombshell.
This is exactly what happened on Saturday when British tabloid The Sun decided to release the leaked transcript of President Donald Trump’s phone conversation with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
While it remains unknown who committed the leak, the truth is that the chat the tabloid released was a moment when the U.S. commander in chief focused on the media and his intentions of visiting Great Britain again. The thing is, he was referring to the British media outlets instead of the usual suspects.
As noted on the transcript, Trump literally told May that he wouldn’t visit the country until their press treats him more favorable. The Sun’s article cited senior diplomats and said the President told the Prime Minister, “I haven’t had great coverage out there lately, Theresa.”
Given his request, May replied that “Well, you know what the British press are like.” To which the President said, “I still want to come, but I’m in no rush.” Far from ending the conversation with this statement, Trump also told Theresa May that it would make things quite easier if she could fix that problem for him, and assured that he’s not going back to the United Kingdom until he knows he will get a better reception.
“So, if you can fix it for me, it would make things a lot easier (…) When I know I’m going to get a better reception, I’ll come and not before.”
Although the leaked phone conversation between the U.S. President and Britain Prime Minister didn’t reveal anything substantial, it showed not only Trump’s meticulousness with how the media operates, but also his natural manners and strong leadership with an important ally.
This was the second time this notorious display of leadership was shown with a European leader, after Trump’s trip to France was framed by President Emmanuel Macron’s signs of respect and reverence, just as what happened in Saudi Arabia. Experts believe these actions probe Europe’s need and willingness to reinforce its relationship with the U.S., especially after Trump’s withdrawal from Paris climate agreement.
According to a source cited by the British tabloid, Trump’s only mistake in this phone conversation with Theresa May was that he thought she would be able to influence the British media and smooth the path for him to get a warm welcome. The Sun’s source also told that May tried to explain her lack of power to dictate how the different media outlets might decide to cover Trump´s visit.
Just like in powerful democracies like the U.S. or France, the media and newspaper in the United Kingdom represent an independent power that is extremely difficult for the government to control it.
Regarding the fact that this private phone conversation between the two leaders was leaked, neither the White House nor Downing Street offered any comment. It is believed this was a wrong move from The Sun considering that the content of this particular conversation didn’t reveal anything controversial and the article didn’t end up being a bombshell.
This piece marks one of many phone calls between the U.S. President and a foreign leader to have gone public. Previously, the transcript of his phone conversations with the leaders of the Philippines, Mexico, and Australia have all previously leaked.
‘Fix it for me’: Trump told Theresa May he won’t visit UK until he’s sure he’ll get a warm welcome https://t.co/ZsX0odQA0j
— Carolyn Perkins (@JadeMahoney) 17 de julio de 2017
As reported by The Hill, Trump’s conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was really tense. The reason was that the Republican lambasted a previous agreement between the two nations over refugee resettlement and bragged about how significant was the size of his Electoral College victory.
According to U.S. officials briefed on the phone call, Trump even told Turnbull that was the worst call by far, after receiving several others by other world leaders the same day. The President also spoke German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French then President Francois Hollande and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
It remains unknown who the person or agency is behind the leaks.