It’s coming from inside the house. Throughout Trump’s presidency and increasingly in the past few weeks, leaks from staff members to the press are undermining the president.
The New York Times reported Friday exact details of Trump’s meeting last week with Russian officials. The report cited a document read to them by an “American official,” which summarized the meeting. “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump said, according to the report.
The president then added, “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” The White House did not dispute this account.
Shortly after this story broke, The Daily Beast quoted a senior administration official saying, “Every day [Trump] looks more and more like a complete moron.”
That same story included a Justice Department official saying that Trump’s comments about Comey can “absolutely” be considered obstruction of justice.
These represent just two of the many stories quoting administration officials that have attacked the president. These articles range from details on the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian interference in the election, to a Washington Post piece about how awful White House aides say it is to work for Trump.
Columnist Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News Friday: “What’s unusual is the Niagara of leaks coming out of this White House. As you said, this had to have been somebody in the room, somebody who took the notes, who picked up the phone and read the notes.”
“It’s a loyalty problem inside the White House,” Krauthammer added.
NBC’s Hans Nichols said Friday that the president is “dealing with something other presidents haven’t necessarily had to deal with. That is, a remarkable amount of leaking within his own administration.”
Prominent Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz described the leaks on CNN as acts of “civil disobedience,” and said that some have been illegal.
The Trump administration has yet to appoint nominees to 455 key executive branch positions, and Obama administration holdovers are still in control in many sections of the bureaucracy.
The Washington Free Beacon also reported that many Trump loyalists weren’t brought into the administration. Prominent Trump critics hold key positions, such as Brian Hook, State Department director of policy planning, and Helen Aguirre Ferre, the White House’s director of media relations.
Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone recently said, “If you employ people who aren’t loyal to you, you can’t be surprised when they leak.”
Stone told The Daily Caller Friday that to solve the leaking Trump should order Attorney General Jeff Sessions to bring former national security adviser Susan Rice, former Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, and former FBI Director James Comey before a grand jury. “Subpoena Obama in front of the same grand jury,” Stone said.
He added that wiretaps should be placed on “suspected leakers – including [deputy national security adviser Dina Powell and national security adviser H.R. McMaster] and the scum [Trump] has surrounded himself with.”