What are the limits on the ability of the President of the United States to secretly contact powerful representatives of other nations (for example, another nation's head of state, or that nation's ambassador to the US)? Specifically:
- Can the POTUS make such contacts and keep the conversation contents a secret? (I.e. is there any legal mechanism that could compel the POTUS to disclose the content of such conversations to even one other person?)
- Can the POTUS make such contacts in complete secrecy (i.e. not just avoid disclosing the contents of the conversation, but avoid disclosing even the fact that any conversation took place?)
- If there are no legal limitations on the above, is it practically possible for the POTUS to have such secret contacts?
- Do the answers above depend on whether the other nation involved is hostile to the US?