NBC Reporter: This White House Leaks Like No Other

An NBC national security reporter said Friday night that there are is a pattern of “incredible and unusual leaks in this administration” that he’s never seen before.

Ken Dilanian made the comments when discussing The Washington Post article that cites U.S. officials referring to intercepts of the Russian ambassador saying that Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner wanted to set up a secret communications channel with the Kremlin. This is one of many stories relying on damaging leaks to come out during the Trump administration.

“One other thing that people are remarking about this story is that whoever leaked this story to The Washington Post was willing to disclose that the United States was monitoring the communications of the Russian ambassador back to Moscow. That’s really unusual and it’s a damaging leak. There’s no doubt about it,” Dilanian said.

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When The Press Plays ‘Gotcha,’ Everybody Loses

It’s a difficult time to be proud of everything about America. The president is vilified from all sides (some criticism deserved, some not), and what’s difficult to defend is the democratic process as we’ve used it to produce both the likes of Donald Trump and a press that rushes to judgment like lemmings.

That’s too bad. Honest criticism (not mindless vilification) reaffirms democracy and our values — if we don’t lose the principles that make such criticism possible.

Now, more than ever, we must treasure freedom of speech. What’s more troubling today than at any time in our nation’s history is the way that speed and insidious repetitiveness enable mindless criticism to permeate the culture and attach to the president, whether based on fact or fiction, accurate reporting or distorted opinion posing as reporting….continue reading

West Wing Leaks Turn Into Flood

After appointment of special prosecutor, White House staffers gripe to media about the boss

With the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special prosecutor for the so-called Russian investigation late on Wednesday afternoon, a fresh wave of leaks sprang from the West Wing.

This time the theme of the leaks wasn’t the eccentricities of the new president, as we often saw in the early weeks of the new administration of President Donald Trump.

Instead, it was a new kind of fear the president could not be managed, and that the end was nigh for many staffers, if not the president himself.

With a special prosecutor now ready to question even junior staffers about their knowledge of Russian hacking, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and more, The Washington Post didn’t have much problem coming up with a new Thursday headline on the alleged chaos inside the White House: “The worst job in Washington right now: Working for Trump.”

The Post’s sources were Trump staffers and supposed allies….continue reading

Let Trump Be Trump

The president should cut out the middle men and be his own Messenger-in-Chief.

After the past two weeks, one must ask: How many parallel universes can the U.S. political system endure?

Let us enumerate the celestial bodies traveling along independent orbits just now: Donald Trump, Sean Spicer, the Beltway press chorus, the White House’s Borgia factions, 2018’s at-risk congressional Republicans, the Schumer Democrats, the mosquito clouds of social media, and the various people working in what little exists so far of the Trump government.

One more parallel universe deserves mention: the Trump vote, which decided the 2016 election. Oh, them.

The Trump vote sits out in the country watching the Washington spectacle of all things Comey, all things Russian, rumors of White House firings, and the president’s tweetstorms….continue reading

Trump Under Siege: More Than 60 Percent Of NSC Employees Placed By Obama

Calls are growing for President Trump to “clean house” at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, after a series of leaks aimed at embarrassing and undermining the president sprung from the White House this week.

A White House source estimates more than 60 percent of employees at the National Security Council are not Trump administration appointees, but career officials who were appointed to the White House from other agencies under the Obama administration.

The source said there are “whole departments” at the NSC with only one Trump appointee.

“I think the lesson here is that these things are going to continue to happen until the Trump White House does a serious housecleaning,” said Fred Fleitz, a former CIA and Bush administration official….continue reading

Thank God For The Leakers

It’s springtime for leakers!

The Trump administration is far and away the leakiest White Housein modern American history. And consequently, from high-ranking officials and White House staffers on down through Republicans in Congress to the legion of pro-Trump and anti-anti-Trump cheerleaders in the media, those looking to defend our hapless, bumbling, state-secret-divulging commander in chief invariably respond to the latest news story about the president’s stupefying incompetence by screaming: “But what about the leaks?!?!”

What about the leaks indeed.

I’m not immune to this. After Michael Flynn was forced out as Trump’s national security adviser, I wrote an angry column about the leaks that brought him down. Anonymous sources from within the intelligence community had inspired a series of stories in the press that had forced out a senior administration official in a matter of days. This was unorthodox. Dangerous. Following Eli Lake of Bloomberg News, I even called it an example of “police state” tactics….continue reading

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