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President Trump says he might stop allowing aides on foreign calls

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Thursday he is considering ending the practice of allowing aides and administration officials to listen in on calls with foreign leaders, after a whistleblower complaint over his phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky triggered his impeachment

“That’s what they’ve done over the years when you call a foreign leader, people listen,” he told Geraldo Rivera in a radio interview that aired Thursday. “I may end the practice entirely.”

The White House has long allowed aides, National Security Council personnel, top State Department officials and members of the intelligence community to sit in on the president’s calls with world leaders to take notes and prepare a summary that serves as an official record of the call. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was among the administration officials who sat in on Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky, in which Trump solicited his Ukrainian counterpart to publicly announce investigations that would politically benefit him. The call prompted an anonymous whistleblower to file a complaint about the call, which launched a House impeachment inquiry. 

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