Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

A handout photo made available by the Russian Foreign Ministry on May 10, 2017, shows U.S. President Donald J. Trump (C) speaking with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak during a meeting at the White House in Washington, D.C. (HO / AFP/Getty Images)

What's In the Transcript? There's a Way to Find Out What Trump Told Russia

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday morning demanded the White House release an "unedited transcript" of Trump's meeting with Russians

Deirdre Fulton

Among the revelations in Monday evening's bombshell Washington Post report on President Donald Trump disclosing classified information to Russian diplomats is the fact that one U.S. counterterrorism official "called for the problematic portion of Trump's discussion to be stricken from internal memos and for the full transcript to be limited to a small circle of recipients, efforts to prevent sensitive details from being disseminated further or leaked."

Now, amid outrage, calls are growing for that transcript to be released—if not to the public at-large, than at least "to Congress for investigative purposes," as National Memo editor-in-chief Joe Conason wrote Tuesday.

"[T]he House and Senate intelligence committees should request—or if necessary, subpoena—the transcripts of Trump's meeting with the Russians, to see who is telling the truth," Conason insisted. "To paraphrase Trump, that may be the only way to 'find out what the hell is going on'."

In turn, he continued, it may be the only way to see if there are grounds for impeachment. (Notably, U.S. press was not allowed into the meeting between Trump and the Russian officials.)

Trump admitted Tuesday morning that he did share "facts" about a threat from the Islamic State (ISIS) during a meeting last week with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. The president declared in a tweet that he had an "absolute right" to do so.

This goes against denials by top administration officials, and comes on the heels of Trump himself saying last week that it was nigh impossible to expect accuracy from his surrogates.

The cumulative effect, one Republican consultant told Politico, is that the administration's "credibility is completely shattered." 

"They've engaged in serial lying to the American people on issues big and small—beginning with the crowd size photos," said Steve Schmidt, former campaign manager for John McCain. "It's unprecedented for an administration, from the top on down, to embrace a strategy of deception and lying."

Added Stu Loeser, a longtime press secretary to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg: "If you've blown your credibility on crowd size or semantics, people say: What else are they going to lie about?"

That's why, as Conason and others now argue, we must turn to the full transcript.

So far, the only explicit calls for releasing the transcript have come from Democrats. But with Republicans increasingly demanding answers from the administration, could it be the nail in Trump's coffin?

After all, "[t]his is not a partisan issue," said Conason. "Only Congress, Republicans and Democrats acting together, can protect the nation from this incompetent, venal, and dangerous executive. They can no longer ignore the threat he poses to our security."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Latest UN Climate Report Delivers 'Another Thundering Wake-Up Call'

"Climate change is no longer a future problem. It is a now problem," said the UNEP executive director. "The clock is ticking loudly."

Jessica Corbett ·


Climate Movement Hails 'Mind-Blowing' $40 Trillion in Fossil Fuel Divestment Pledges

"Institutions around the world must step up now and commit to joining the divest-invest movement before it is too late—for them, for the economy, and for the world."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Really Fantastic': Europe's Largest Pension Fund Announces Fossil Fuel Divestment

It's "a huge victory for the climate, human rights, and all life on Earth," said one activist.

Andrea Germanos ·


Senate Urged to Quickly Confirm Net Neutrality Advocates to FCC Posts

The White House was expected to announce the nominations of acting chair Jessica Rosenworcel and Gigi Sohn.

Julia Conley ·


'A Political Scam, Not a Serious Plan': Groups Blast Australia Climate Pledge

"If Morrison expects to front up to COP 26 with this sorry excuse for a net-zero emissions target and no increase in formal ambition on Australia's 2030 target, he'll be laughed out of the room."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo