Reuters Leaks Trump-Putin Phone Call, Reveals Trump Unfamiliar With Russia Nuclear Treaty

Tyler Durden's picture

In the past week, the press complained that the White House never published a detailed read out of the Jan. 28 Trump-Putin phone call, one of the first held by the new US president, because allegedly the staff had disabled recording equipment. Today, it was Reuters' turn to be the latest to leak the full details of a Trump high level phone call (as reported yesterday, leaking within the Trump administration has become a major issue) this time, the highly anticipated if unrecorded call with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Reuters cited two unnamed U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of the call.

The leak, while unconfirmed - in today's press briefing Spicer refused to comment saying it was a private call - revealed several interesting facts, first that Trump denounced the START treaty that caps U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads "as a bad deal for the United States."

More notable was the disclosure that "when Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was, these sources said." During a debate in the 2016 presidential election, Trump said Russia had "outsmarted" the United States with the treaty, which he called "START-Up." He asserted incorrectly then that it had allowed Russia to continue to produce nuclear warheads while the United States could not.

As Reuters adds"it has not been previously reported that Trump had conveyed his doubt about New START to Putin in the hour-long call."

Under the terms of the New START the two countries have until February 2018 to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550, the lowest level in decades. It also limits deployed land- and submarine-based missiles and nuclear-capable bombers.

Previously the new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he supported the treaty during his Senate confirmation hearings.

During the hearings Tillerson said it was important for the United States to "stay engaged with Russia, hold them accountable to commitments made under the New START and also ensure our accountability as well."

The latest leak will lead to concerns that Trump "is not adequately prepared for discussions with foreign leaders", which may or may not be favorable in future negotiations, as it keeps foreign heads of state very much off balance.

Another unique aspect of this call: Trump did not receive a briefing from Russia experts with the NSC and intelligence agencies before the Putin call, Reuters' two sources said.

Typically, before a telephone call with a foreign leader, a president receives a written in-depth briefing paper drafted by National Security Council staff after consultations with the relevant agencies, including the State Department, Pentagon and intelligence agencies, two former senior officials said.


Just before the call, the president also usually receives an oral "pre-briefing" from his national security adviser and top subject-matter aide, they said.

In the phone call, Reuters also reports that Putin raised the possibility of reviving talks on a range of disputes and suggested extending New START, the sources said.

New START can be extended for another five years, beyond 2021, by mutual agreement. Unless they agree to do that or negotiate new cuts, the world's two biggest nuclear powers would be freed from the treaty's limits, potentially setting the stage for a new arms race.


New START was ratified by the U.S. Senate in December 2010 by a vote of 71 to 26. Thirteen Republican senators joined all of the Senate’s Democrats in voting for the treaty, although Republican opponents derided it as naive.

During a prior phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, which infamously turned heated and led to Trump prematurely ending the call just 20 minutes in, the US president questioned an agreement reached by the Obama administration to accept 1,250 refugees now being held by Australia in offshore detention centers. It was one of many such conversations in which Trump turned to denounce deals negotiated by previous administrations on trade, acceptance of refugees and arms control.

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nuubee's picture

So we went from the "Most Transparent Administration Ever!" TM
To... "The Most White-House-Staff Leaked Administration Ever!" TM

UndergroundPost's picture

Whichever Obama stooge is found to be leaking Trump's calls should not only be fired, but prosecuted to the full extent of the law

Son of Loki's picture

None of these presidents knew the details of most of what was goin gon and that's why they with a few dozens aides, lawyers, etc.


Trump is one of the few who will actually read them before they are passed. Look at the disastrous Iran deal Kerry-Soweto signed.....Horrible! Yet there was not a peep out of the media.


dirtscratcher's picture

Reuters didn't leak shit!! How can they leak a call that was unrecorded? They quoting an unnamed source. More FakeNews.

AllTimeWhys's picture

"Pigs sprout wings and leave the planet" Reuters reports.

Notveryamused's picture

Probably true but I wouldn't expect him to know all the details yet. He needs better briefings before these calls and obviously whoever is leaking needs to be fired.

jcaz's picture

Barry couldn't recite the details at the point, either-  details are for lackies.

InjectTheVenom's picture

i think i trust a "Reuters leak" as much as i'd trust Jerry Sandusky to babysit my 10-yr old nephew.

MANvsMACHINE's picture

Even if true, which is highly unlikely given the source, past Presidents (see Obama) certainly didn't know what the fuck they were doing but the press covered their asses.

Dabooda's picture

 I have no problem with folks "leaking" facts about our so-wonderful rulers.   How come the people can have no secrets from the government, but the government can "classify" anything they choose?  Why the hell should we respect THEIR privacy or their secrets?  I voted for Trump, but anyone who exposes him ACTUALLY screwing up is alright with me.

espirit's picture

Media Terrorism.

Book 'em, Donno.

xythras's picture
xythras (not verified) espirit Feb 9, 2017 4:32 PM

Donald will make such a cool duet with Putin. Just wait and see the world by the end of the year.

Hip-Hop and Gay Porn: Donald Trump Trolled over #EasyD Tweet

EASY D it's in the HOUSE.  Thank God. May he stay there 8 years.

MalteseFalcon's picture

Trump is clearly in a fight to the death with the legacy media.

No holds barred.

This story is one of a continuing series of fake news reports.

Even Nixon didn't face this kind of rubbish.

And to the Republican neocons that trashed him for this I say: run your mouths.  You're finished.

ThanksChump's picture

How about leaking stuff that is not a screwup and should not be leaked? You think like a Democrat - 1-level deep.


This isn't a screwup. This isn't the sort of thing that should be leaked.


I have no problem with sending every person who was in the room with Trump during the call to Gitmo and waterboarding them until they give up George Soros as the spy.

dogbreath's picture

Remember the story about the new US embassy in Moscow and that it had so many bugs in it it was never used.   I would bet that the white house is infested with cock roaches and bed bugs and mice and ants and termites and bag crabs and blow flies.  

booboo's picture

"so do all 57 states have to abide by the START Treaty?"  Barry Soetoro

FreezeThese's picture
FreezeThese (not verified) Notveryamused Feb 9, 2017 3:19 PM

After reaching an unpresidented 2 - the official counter has been reset: 0 Days Without Being a National Embarrassment

Harnar's picture

Makes you pine for the days when the president sounded great while destroying the nation?

Uzda Farce's picture
Uzda Farce (not verified) dirtscratcher Feb 9, 2017 4:05 PM

Thomson Reuters is a corporate sponsor of the Rockefeller/CFR. Reuters president and editor-in-chief, Stephen Adler, is a CFR member along with Bill Clinton, Lloyd Blankfein and George Soros. See member lists at cfr dot org.

Adler is also a member of the International Media Council of the World Economic Forum, and was a speaker at Davos this year.

The Chief's picture

Oh, is he a pedophile? Lovely.

fockewulf190's picture

"Reuters didn't leak shit!!"

Could be.  Trump knows for sure if it´s fake.  If it isn´t, he should be moving his calls to the Situation Room pronto and go heavy on the mole hunting.

FireBrander's picture

Decades of "Experts" and "Knowledgeable people" in Government MAKING TERRIBLE FUCKING DECISIONS...woefully short of people with an ounce of common sense....Trump appears to have more sense than most...although I wonder sometimes...a little too much shooting from the hip.

AllTimeWhys's picture

The word 'expert' has lost it's true definition within the government and economy. It's now just a buzzword for 'You're stupid if you don't agree with this person'

booboo's picture

"Expert" defined is a drip under pressure

musimann's picture

I thought the Iran deal was a pretty good one. Only thing Barry did that I liked - and making up with Cuba. So at this point Trump is worse than the HNIC. He is an embarrassment to any objective person. And he's got a whole lot of blundering left in him - you'll see soon enough.

First time shame on you. Second time shame on me. How many times is it going to take for you?

"the lunatic is in the hall" - Brain Damage, Pink Floyd

Mikeyy's picture

 If he didn't know the details, as you attest, how did he know it was a bad deal?


Urban Redneck's picture

It was a bad a deal.  Under the terms of the agreement (or lack thereof) Russia has developed new nuclear trains (the originals were retired years ago with the death of the USSR).  Train and Road mobile ICBMs are force multipliers, because in an strategic nuclear strike the ICBMS are divided between conventional large military/civilian/government targets and the enemy's nuclear missile silos housing ICBMs.  You can't "pre-program" mobile targeting data for mobile ICBMs that actually move, so either your launch is delayed, or those targets are ignored and left free to launch...

Had the US developed a land mobile leg of the nuclear triad... it would not have been such a shitty deal. Leaving negotiating cards on the table like that, particularly when recent history has such a precedent is amateur.  However, it sounds like Trump was simply recalling how someone more knowledgeable might have characterized the terms and doing his default oversimplification/exaggeration thing.

There are some other/similar cards, but I don't recall them off the top of my head, and can't really be bothered to look them up right now.

Mikeyy's picture

The why did Tillerson think it was a good deal?  Did Trump and Tillerson not talk about the START deal before his confirmation hearings?  Did Tillerson talk to someone less knowledgeable than Trump talked to?  Or does Tillerson know something you and Trump don't?  Or a million things...


Here's the reality - Trump doesn't know a friggin' thing and just makes it up as he goes.   And the Trump apologists should stop making excuses and just understand that and deal with it. 

Urban Redneck's picture

I don't care abut the Trump apologists or the Obama apologists. I do, however, care about the survival of humanity.  

M.A.D. only works if the destruction is perceived as MUTUAL.  Otherwise this all a huge spending orgy... f.b.o the MIC.

It's simple math, despite a bunch of PhDs pulling their hair out right now trying to fit Orange Jesus and Rationality into the same sides of their respective equations.  

The deal sucks.  What the US did get out of the deal was the right to enrich the MIC pursing ballistic missile defense.  Unfortunately they are many years and many trillions of dollars short of the graft/investment required to counter the increased threats they have opened the door to...

If a nuclear arms reduction treaty doesn't reduce the threat of nuclear war and/or it's consequences, the treaty is bullshit and a failure, regardless of whether the specific terms of the treaty are adhered to.

keep the bastards honest's picture

and does Russia have  tanks arms army lined up all  along the mexican border, the canadian border and the bahamas? like US/NATO has  around China and Russia? And ships of various types up and down from Alaska to the south and in the atlantic? no. Has Russia been into mexico and raised a coup and killing off english speaking expats ?

How many strikes does it take to eliminate all  life on the Planet?


TonyRUs's picture

and it is the current members of the government and main stream media that CAUSED the populace to have to elect a person that was not familiar much of gov't doings. You got a bunch of wolves in sheeps clothing, with a few sheep mixed in (decent law makers), and its OUR fault we didn't hire a sheep to guard our chickens?

The central planners's picture

From what position you can make a good deal when your spoiled israel has unregistered nuclear weapons from decades.

Luc X. Ifer's picture

Telling you the GOP lords working hard together with the Dems lords to setup Trump for failure and debark him

musimann's picture

I enjoy finding out just how incompetent he and his staff are. He doesn't appear to learn very fast and he's got a big fat head.

Trumpty dumpty sat on a wall
Trumpty dumpty had a great fall
All the kings horses and all the kings men
are not going to be able to put trumpty dumpty back together again.......

So he can wander the halls in his robe but he will never be a good leader because he's too friggin full of himself to learn from his mistakes.

jmack's picture

Actually,  these leaked calls is how government should be run, forever.  total transparency....

ThanksChump's picture

Total transparency? Really?


Says the guy with "KittyPuss" as his wifi passphrase AND his laptop password... Jeez, you ARE all about transparency.


In related news: your car payment's due in 4 days, don't forget. My neighbor borrowed $500 from your savings account as insurance that you won't mess with the movies that are downloading. The neighbor says he can't do that from his PC because this particular pirating site is watched by the FBI and he can't go to prison again.

B1G mNy's picture

.. should not only be fired? Hell firing squad!

Kirk2NCC1701's picture


And bring in own people. 

Blankone's picture

From the article:

"The latest leak will lead to concerns that Trump "is not adequately prepared for discussions"

No, if this is another leak or backstab the concern that it raises is that Trump cannot build a staff or select a group of officials/leaders/commanders who will not undermine him.  He has had some major blunders in this regards. 

He now needs to have each who attended the call be asked by a federal agent if they disclosed any info..  Obama drove out many of the top level officials in the military in order to install traitors.  Trump has to reassign these individuals and put in people he can trust.  Right now he is getting out manuevered.

bh2's picture

If the call was not recorded, how many specific people could have had "knowledge of it"?  And, in particular, what "former official"? How would that person obtain "knowledge of it" except as hearsay?

BlindMonkey's picture

The NSA would be a good place to start looking.

The Chief's picture

The out-going impostor and his team, if anything happened at all, have provided the means for calls to be listened to.

When you have the likes of the traitors Schmidt and Gates working with you, anything is possible. That, and a deep state machine controlled from Tel Aviv and London.

I can't see anyone in the White House risking certain death -real death- by doing this. Because that is what would happen and deservedly so. Be assured of that.

Traitors beware.

By the way these idiots are acting, you'd think that these traitors believe that they have found the secret of immortality. I'm certain that the proof that they didn't will be discovered during this administration.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

He's getting totally outplayed at the tactical level of deviousness. 

Think of Troy. What an entire Greek army could not do, mind-jacking with a wooden horse got done.

He's got to make massive staffing changes. Especially in the Copy and Comm. rooms. Bring in hand-picked and vetted stenographers and legal secretaries. 

Krungle's picture

The purge should have been the first order of business. You can't drain the swamp by allowing the swamp creatures to work with you. But now he will have to deal with leaks of the purge that is forthcoming and they'll make it into a whole Stalin-esque sort of drama. I don't know if it the people advising him are fighting (as has been reported, especially Kushner vs Bannon), or if they people around him are just not very good, but he needs to stop the bleeding soon or he's going to be looking at a bullshit impeachment in the not so distant future.

fulliautomatix's picture

You probably noticed - trust is a terminally endangered thing in our society, and is nigh on non-existent where politicians are concerned (as is competence, but that's a systemic problem). Hope is all we have left and we voted on that about 8 years ago now.

drendebe10's picture

The guy is office a week & they're pissin on him because he doesn't the details of the treaty.  What about the time the US citizen was beheaded and the illegal indonesian kenyan alien muslim fudgepacker imbecile was too busy cheating at golf?  Fuk reuters.

44_shooter's picture

"Reuters cited two unnamed U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of the call."

Let me guess, Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy?


"Another unique aspect of this call: Trump did not receive a briefing from Russia experts with the NSC and intelligence agencies before the Putin call, Reuters' two sources said.

Well of course he didn't becasue remember they all reported that Trump wouldn't take security briefings.