Trump considers banning aides from calls with foreign leaders


President Trump said that with impeachment over, he may ban aides from listening to his phone conversations with foreign leaders following the whistleblower complaint of a phone conversation with the leader of Ukraine that led to his impeachment.

A July 25 Trump phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky became the subject of the president's impeachment in the House after a whistleblower complaint alleged that the president was withholding military aid to secure an investigation into political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

"When you call a foreign leader, people listen," Trump told Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera in a radio interview Thursday, referencing the White House and National Security Council staff who are on the line. "I may end the practice entirely. I may end it entirely."

At times, 25 people are on the line, he said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was among the Zelensky call's listeners.

Trump said he felt Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's actions were "insubordinate" and that "many people in the building started applauding" as he was escorted from the White House Friday.

Trump and national security adviser Robert O'Brien cut 70 positions since the president's acquittal last week, which were described as holdovers from the Obama administration. One was Vindman, a Ukraine expert at the NSC who was returned to the Pentagon.

"You want to give people chances," Trump said in reference to the cuts. "The fact that they come from Obama or they are Never Trumpers from Bush or whoever they may be. You want to give people time."

Trump suggested that impeachment detracted from his ability to do his work. "I'm so busy that it made my job so much busier," Trump told Rivera.