A spokesperson for the Russian Kremlin said on Friday that it hoped that the United States would not release transcripts of conversations between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, like it did with a conversation the president had with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, earlier this week.
The Kremlin spokesperson was asked Friday whether the Russian government was worried that the White House could, in a similar move, release a transcript of a call between Trump and Putin.
“We would like to hope that it wouldn’t come to that in our relations, which are already troubled by a lot of problems,” spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, per a report Friday from NBC News.
According to NBC News, Peskov added that he believed the decision to release the transcript of the call with Zelensky was “quite unusual.”
The president on Wednesday released a summarized transcript of a call he had in July with Zelensky following reports that a whistleblower had claimed the president pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate one of his political rivals, 2020 Democratic Party candidate for president, former Vice President Joe Biden.
The release of the transcript came one day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, announced that the House would begin an official impeachment inquiry into the president following the whistleblower’s reports.
On Thursday, prior to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire’s testimony before Congress, the official whistleblower complaint, which was filed August 12, was publicly released. The transcript of the conversation released Wednesday supports several of the whistleblower’s claims, including that both Attorney General William Barr and the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, were mentioned in the context of investigating Biden.
The transcript is notably not verbatim, and the whistleblower complaint released Thursday alleges that following Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky, the president and White House officials attempted to “lock down” the official transcript and details of the call on private storage typically reserved for classified information.
The whistleblower, who did not have first-hand knowledge of the call but had reportedly been told about it by several of the more than a dozen U.S. officials they said were present on the July phone meeting, charged that the White House had previously engaged in a similar practice of putting potentially damaging calls in classified-designated areas.
As The Inquisitr noted, House Speaker Pelosi said Thursday that she believed the president was engaged in a “cover-up” following the unclassified release of the whistleblower complaint.
Before Congress Thursday, Maguire answered questions about the whistleblower report and his decision to withhold it from Congress for more than a month following its submission in August.