Why doesn't anybody record conversations with government officials?

True, and that fortuitous incident only came about because the Georgia secretary of state was all too aware of Trump’s propensity to lie and distort and throw people under the bus after the fact, and authorizing the recording was a calculated defensive tactic on his part.

And like you said, in the White House itself I can’t imagine the Secret Service wouldn’t check people for hidden wires or phones on them before allowing them access to info-sensitive people/areas.

I recall there being a bunch of leaks from the early Trump Whitehouse and they were getting so angry about it they collected everyone’s phone and checked them.

Found it:

Yes, I remember that one. And it pretty much went nowhere. Maybe that’s why people don’t bother.

I think it’s the other way around, but don’t quote me on that. I think that came up in the Monica Lewinski/Linda Tripp thing. I’ll have to doublecheck.

In my experience people usually have their phones in their hands, glancing at them every once in a while.

Fuck, I have totally never heard about that. I’m not sure how they thought that would stop leaks, unless they were worried about actually being recorded. it would seem to suggest that there is no way using technology to tell if a cell is recording or not.

Speaking generally, it is because you want your advisors to be able to speak frankly with you, to throw out all of the options, to spitball, brainstorm, and think outside the box.

If the advisor knows that it is being recorded and end up on Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity next week out of context, you won’t get frank advice.

In my question, the only one that knows anything is being recorded is the person doing the recording, so your answer is to a different question.

I don’t really want to limit this to the Trump administration but, for instance, when Milley said he thought Trump wanted to start a war with Iran after the election, why didn’t Milley record all the conversations that he had with his fellow officers that were trying to stop a war from starting? Maybe if the Joint Chiefs were all on a recording of them trying to avert a war, we wouldn’t have all the he said/he said.

If you think you are doing the right thing, choosing what you think is the right course of action, I can’t see a downside to recording conversations. If you are unsuccessful, delete them or save them for a better time.

Not really. I am saying that in a scenario where there is no recording of conversations, people will be frank. If this changes and people start recording conversations, others will be unsure if it is being recorded, probably will correctly assume that it is, and will not be as frank.

And you think this is bad?

Of course it would be bad for officials at the top level of government not to receive frank advice.

Why? Your advisors should only be giving you legitimate advice, so no harm to them if it leaks out. Fear of recording may keep them from telling Trump the election was stolen so go ahead and bomb Iran.

Okay assume Trump wants to bomb Iran on October 30 because he thinks it will help him win the election. One of his trusted advisors are there. Two scenarios:

  1. No recordings. The trusted advisor can feel free to say, “Mr. President, you know I respect you, but this is crazy, sir. We don’t go to war to win elections. With all due respect, Mr. President, this is fucking nuts.”

  2. Recordings. The trusted advisor wants a political future. The trusted advisor does not want to hear the clip of “Mr. President, this is fucking nuts” replayed 24/7 on a loop on CNN forever like the transmitter broadcasting the numbers on Lost. So the advisor either holds his tongue or says it more gently. The message Trump gets is watered down.

I would rather the advisor be in scenario #1.

Well, in my world, I want the advisors to call me nuts whether or not there are recordings.

If the trusted advisor recorded that conversation with Trump and his reply and released it, he would be a good guy. I’m thinking you have a different moral compass than I do.

Why is this personal? I said nothing about me. There are people in government, in business, in life, who would say things privately but not publicly. Whether that makes an advisor a good guy or not is completely irrelevant because you have both good and bad, moral and immoral people in government.

And yes, you would want the advisors to call you nuts, but I thought your point was that the recordings would out someone like Trump when I am pointing out that it would do the opposite.

Further, if there are recordings in your hypo, maybe Trump doesn’t disclose his plans at all in fear that something like that will be said, so he bombs without seeking advice.

There WAS a President, some years back, who thought that it would be a good idea to record his conversations. Oddly enough, however, it did not end well for him.

It’s not personal, I said you were different. That you would keep your silence about starting a war because you were worried about future jobs is totally opposite of mine. If I were in the situation in your hypothetical, and I was the advisor, I would want not only a voice recording but video and a live worldwide broadcast. Then I would go on every tv show and talk to any journalist that would speak to me. Then I would testify in front of congress and a jury if it came to that. I don’t think keeping/getting a job would even enter my mind.

You are balancing a possible future job vs. a war, and choosing the war. My choice is the exact opposite, hence the different moral compass.

How would he do that? It’s the Joint Chiefs that are trying to stop him from going to war. Do you really think nothing would be happening while he was firing general after general, hoping to find a yes man?

I think audio of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs telling a president he was nuts to start a war would put a big dent in his plans.

But that’s the opposite of my question. I’m talking about someone doing the right thing recording someone doing a wrong thing. If you are stupid enough to record yourself breaking the law, well , you are stupid.

In California you would be guilty of a crime.
IF you recorded a conversation with the President that includes classified info you are guilty of a crime.

Jeez dude, this was already brought up in the second post. So what if it’s a crime. Let’s see. War or an illegal wiretap charge? Which would I choose?

What a Trumpy response. Laws are only applicable to others. And you might also face a treason charge.

Looks like DC has a one-party consent law. So it would be legal to record your conversations in general.

I don’t know if there are special rules for classified conversations. Do conversations even become classified until they’ve happened?

[Moderating]

If your intention was to encourage lawbreaking, then this thread is closed.