The phone call between Donald Trump and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky that sparked impeachment proceedings against the president has put pressure on his inner circle of staff that listened in on the conversation. While some of these staffers have left the White House, others remain at the president’s side.
The scandal has also revealed some other interesting pieces of information about Trump’s approach to foreign policy, the Associated Press reports. According to one anonymous person with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s chats with foreign leaders, he sometimes hands the phone to his daughter, Ivanka, so she can talk with the leader in question.
The same source claims that Trump dislikes pre-briefs and often refuses to use them. Another source said that when Trump does use pre-brief note cards, he tears them up and tosses them into a burn bag. These bags are subsequently retrieved by staff who then put the pieces back together with tape to preserve the cards for the record.
Ivanka, who is Trump’s senior adviser, was previously criticized for tagging along with Trump to the G-20 summit, and the new revelation will likely do nothing to change the opinions of such critics. Given Ivanka’s lack of experience in politics, some suggested it was inappropriate for her to be present and chatting with world leaders. In addition, social media critics were quick to attack Ivanka and accuse the Trump White House of nepotism.
Ivanka Trump represented the US at a gathering of G20 leaders.
Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand has registered trademarks in 18 of the G20 countries.
Any questions? pic.twitter.com/h2dlWeL0DC
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) July 1, 2019
Trump’s call with Zelensky, in which he is accused of pressuring the former comedian to dig up dirt on Trump’s potential Democratic rival Joe Biden, has been the source of much controversy. His subsequent public call to both Ukraine and China to investigate Biden solidified impeachment support for those that want Trump removed from office and also drew criticism from Republicans, such as Utah Senator Mitt Romney.
Romney also suggested that there are others in Washington that, behind the scenes, disagree with Trump’s calls.
“I think everyone understands that asking a foreign government to investigate one’s political opponent is wrong. I don’t think there’s any exception to that. People might try to stay silent.”
Trump lashed out at Romney on Twitter following his public criticism, but it doesn’t appear to have phased him.
“First of all, I don’t follow the president on Twitter so I don’t see all of his tweets,” he said, per The Hill. “But secondly, you know, in my business, if you got concerned about criticism, you’d be in the wrong business. So I just don’t worry about those things.”