The Trump administration has been plagued with leaks from establishment loyalists – enemies of the administration who feel its their duty to undermine Trump’s agenda. One swamp operative even penned a book, “A Warning” penned by “Anonymous,” who claimed “many of the senior officials in [Trump’s] own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”
This traitorous behavior often takes place in the form of anonymous leaks to various MSM outlets in order to harm the duly elected sitting US president.
Tracking down the leakers has been assigned to Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, who joined the Trump administration on March 31, 2020 after serving as the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee.
According to Axios, Meadows has notified multiple White House staffers that he’s been feeding certain information to specific people to see what gets passed on to reporters.
“Meadows told me he was doing that,” one former White House official told Axios. “I don’t know if it ever worked.”
According to the report, White House staffers are now on edge, “with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics.”
So far Meadows’ efforts have produced one minor leaker.
More via Axios:
- Trump is especially furious about two recent leaks of classified and sensitive information.
- As Politico first reported, the administration has interviewed people with access to the intelligence that the Russians were paying the Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers. A senior White House official confirmed Politico’s reporting that they have narrowed down the list of suspects to fewer than 10 people.
- Trump was also enraged when the New York Times reported that the Secret Service rushed him down to the bunker during the protests outside the White House.
- So far, Meadows has yet to deliver on either of these high-priority leak hunts. A source familiar with Meadows’ thinking said he is “focused on national security leaks and could care less about the palace intrigue stories.”
- On a recent podcast with Ted Cruz, however, Meadows said they tracked down and fired a federal employee who leaked information about a White House social media executive order.
Trump’s previous chiefs of staff were unable (at best) to plug leaks over the last three and a half years – none more so than Mick Mulvaney, who “never netted the sort of catch Trump wanted,” according to the report. One former White House official, however, said that the ‘one time’ Mulvaney did present damning evidence to Trump, the president dismissed it.
Even more via Axios:
- In January, Mulvaney asked the White House’s IT department to search the work cellphone records of senior staff. His office gave the IT department the cell phone numbers of the top reporters who cover the White House.
- After getting back the spreadsheet and finding senior staff contacts with reporters to be mostly unremarkable, Mulvaney zeroed in on what he thought were some unusual phone calls for White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.
- Mulvaney, who had been in a bitter feud with Cipollone, had already told Trump he thought the White House counsel was a leaker.
- When he’d made those accusations, Trump replied, “The guy doesn’t even talk to the press. Never has,” said a source familiar with their interactions.
- The spreadsheet the IT department produced for Mulvaney in mid-January showed that Cipollone had multiple phone calls with the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and CNN’s Pamela Brown. But when Mulvaney presented this information to the president, Trump brushed it off and did nothing about it, the former official said.
- A former administration official familiar with the impeachment defense defended Cipollone. “Pat was encouraged by the president to talk with the media because the president viewed him as a strong advocate on his behalf. This was part of a coordinated effort.
- “It’s important to note Pat made all of these calls from his official phone,” the former official added. “If he was leaking do you really think he’d be doing it from his official phone?”
Told of this incident, Chris Whipple, presidential historian who wrote the definitive book on White House chiefs of staff, called it “unprecedented.”
Read the rest here.