zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Feb 9, 2017 2:45 PM
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.
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