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Top Intel Dem: Leak of Trump transcripts 'disgraceful'

Top Intel Dem: Leak of Trump transcripts 'disgraceful'
© Greg Nash

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said on Thursday that Congress should probe the leak of transcripts of President Trump's phone calls with Mexico's and Australia's leaders.

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerIs there difference between good and bad online election targeting? Collusion judgment looms for key Senate panel Hillicon Valley: Facebook reveals 30 million users affected by hack | Grassley presses Google to explain data practices | Senators warn Canada against using Chinese telecom firm | FCC responds to net neutrality lawsuits MORE (D-Va.) told The Daily Beast in an interview that the unauthorized disclosures of the transcripts to The Washington Post are "disgraceful" and compromised the president's ability to have confidential conversations with foreign leaders.

“A president of the United States, a governor would tell us they've got to be able to have confidential conversations,” Warner said. “And I think it was disgraceful that those [came out].”

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The Post published the transcripts of Trump's first conversations with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday.

Those transcripts revealed that the president engaged in contentious conversations with two key U.S. allies and pressed them to make concessions in order to burnish his political image.

Warner said that the leaks are "reflective of a chaotic White House" and said that Congress ought to investigate the matter.

“Whether that is Intel or Judicial [committees] looking into it, somebody ought to,” he told The Daily Beast.

Warner isn't the first Democrat to decry the leaks as having gone too far. Former Obama administration officials, including former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, also slammed the leaks.

“Leaks of sensitive or classified information damages our national security,” McFaul told The Hill.