Republicans are urging the White House to find and plug the leaks that led to embarrassing headlines about President Donald Trump’s calls with foreign leaders. While Democrats have seized on reports of Trump’s confrontational conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia, warning that the president is at risk of alienating longtime allies, Republicans see a bigger threat in the publicizing of calls designed to be private. In interviews this week, lawmakers warned that the new president won’t be able to level with his foreign counterparts if he has to worry about his straight talk ending up in the media.
“Whatever has happened here, we need to repair it, because it will be difficult for other leaders to feel comfortable talking to the president and vice versa,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who’s been unafraid to criticize Trump over his friendliness with Russia and false claims of widespread voter fraud, told POLITICO. North Carolina GOP Sen. Richard Burr agreed that the source of the leaks had to be found and resolved, noting that the Obama administration dealt with spilled national security secrets of its own. “It affects the candidness of the president with foreign governments and it affects their ability to achieve the right type of policy,” Burr, who chairs the intelligence committee, said in an interview.