In an interview with Fox News this weekend, President Trump said the leaks pouring out of the White House were likely coming from Obama loyalists within the staff ranks. Irritated over reports of contentious phone calls he had with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Trump said his administration was currently working to find the source of the leaks.
“It’s a disgrace that they leaked because it’s very much against our country,” Trump said. “It’s a very dangerous thing for our country.”
Trump said he was certain that “Obama people” were running to the media in an effort to undermine his presidency. He expressed confidence that the leaks would stop once his administration had replaced holdovers currently still serving in the White House and the National Security Council.
Furthermore, he said, the reports of the phone calls had been falsely characterized in the media. He assured Fox News that he had “positive” relationships with Australia, Mexico, and their respective leaders.
Whatever the truth is about the leaks, it’s undeniable that this White House is leaking like a sieve. Trump could be right in blaming it on former Obama staffers, but some believe the problem lies within Trump’s own ranks as aides vie for power in a fractured administration. Many of the leaks have hinted at this very dissension.
That’s the problem with assembling a team of rivals who are not all on the same page. It gives President Trump a wide variety of viewpoints and it encourages healthy competition, but it can also lead to some degree of chaos. Trump himself will have to determine whether the good outweighs the bad.
In the meantime, the media would do well to tread cautiously when reporting on these leaks. As it stands now, every reporter with an inside line to the White House is printing every morsel of information they can get their hands on. They aren’t bothering to fact-check. They aren’t bothering to do any further investigating. They’re just taking their sources at their word and going straight to press. They aren’t leaving any room for the reader/viewer to contemplate why this information might be arriving in the public eye.
Indeed, despite what he’s saying publicly, it’s entirely possible that Trump himself is aware of at least some of what leaks to the press beforehand. What better way to get a sense of public opinion than to have something “accidentally” leak? If Trump has proven anything over the last two years, it’s that he is an all-time master of guiding the media in exactly the direction he wants it to go.