According to a new AP report from Vivian Salama, Donald Trump has been giving out his private number like a 12-year-old with his first cell phone. Apparently, the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and France now have all-hours access to Trump’s personal line, and at least Justin Trudeau, the PM of Canada, has already used it.
Presumably excited about being such an important guy, it’s not the first time Trump has spurned normal protocol. His casual discussion over cake with the Chinese president about battle plans in Syria alarmed his staff. His dick-waving brag about the location of America’s nuclear submarines on the phone with the dictator of the Philippines raised the hackles of his national security team.
But in perhaps his most stunning display of hypocrisy to date, Trump has now taken up the exact habit — use of personal communications for private conversations — that he not only chastised Hillary Clinton for during the 2016 election, but actually called for her to be “locked up” over. Of course, this means that his supporters will now be forced into hypocrisy themselves, as they conveniently forget their own incessant chanting and “Hillary for Prison” bumper stickers in favor of excusing the president’s behavior.
This is no small development. Ashley Deeks, a former legal advisor for the State Department, said:
If you are Macron or the leader of any country and you get the cellphone number of the president of the United States, it’s reasonable to assume that they’d hand it right over to their intel service.”
It is also reasonable to assume that Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, has no intention of using Trump’s number for any friendly chats. After the aggressive handshake the two leaders shared on May 26th, it was clear there was no love lost.
Although passing out his number is not surprising, given the Trump family’s penchant for creating back-channels of communication, it’s still not clear how private calls on his personal line are treated under the Presidential Records Act, which requires transcripts of all communications pertinent to the office. In fact, the Act may be due for another expansion; its last was in 2014, when it was broadened to include — you guessed it — email communications.
Featured image via screen capture