US President Donald Trump allegedly gave his private cell phone number to foreign leaders and even conducted high-level talks with them using it without even notifying White House officials, The Washington Post reported, citing anonymous sources.
The newspaper points out that the White House was shocked when Canada released a summary of a talk between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Trump, as they never knew such a call had taken place. After that, White House officials reportedly demanded that Trump route all communications via the Situation Room, normally used for such calls.
According to US laws, the president's telephone conversations with other leaders need to be recoded and their transcripts must be distributed to key aides. White House officials were instead forced to compose those transcripts relying on Trump's memory.
The newspaper added, citing the same source, that such talks were allegedly often complicated by Trump's reluctance to read briefings containing key points on upcoming negotiations. To solve that problem, the White House staff was forced to "slim down" all their reports, including only the most critical information in them.
This is not the first report to suggest that Trump has used his personal phone to conduct negotiations with other political figures. CNN reported, citing an anonymous source, in April 2018 that he was increasingly using it to contact outside advisers and GOP lawmakers without his Chief of Staff John Kelly knowing it.