An unprecedented series of leaks coming out of the Donald Trump White House signal a chaotic situation inside the new administration just two weeks after Trump’s inauguration. Top Trump staffers are backstabbing each other and their boss, experts say — while the president himself is helpless to do anything but throw temper tantrums like “a child who badly needs to be managed,” according to one political expert writing for the Washington Post.
“(Trump) is someone who has made very clear — both in the business world and in his brief stint in politics — that he expects unflinching loyalty from his staff,” Post political columnist Chris Cillizza wrote on Thursday. “He’s not getting anything close to that right now — and I have to assume, knowing what we know about him, it’s driving him crazy.”
In an earlier column about the torrent of Trump White House leaks, the Washington Post political expert wrote, “I’ve never seen so much leaking so quickly — and with such disdain for the president — as I have in the first six days of Donald Trump’s presidency.”
A story in the New York Times last week painted a bizarre picture of Trump, based on leaks from inside the White House.
“He sits in the White House at night, watching television or reading social media, and through Twitter issues instant judgments on what he sees,” the Times reported. “He channels fringe ideas and gives them as much weight as carefully researched reports. He denigrates the conclusions of intelligence professionals and then later denies having done so. He thrives on conflict and chaos.”
According to Cillizza, “The image of Trump pushed by his ‘aides’ is one of a clueless child — someone who acts on impulse, disregarding the better advice of people who know better.”
In the following video, Ring of Fire network producer Farron Cousins analyzes what the leaks coming from the Trump White House may mean.
But the leaks from those close and supposedly loyal to Trump have not focused only on the character of the 70-year-old former-reality TV star who now occupies the Oval Office, but have also made public alarming details of how Trump conducts the country’s official business.
Among the damaging leaks that have flowed into the public media just since Wednesday were revelations about two supposedly confidential phone calls between Trump and other world leaders. According to one embarrassing leak, Trump hung up in a huff on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, telling Turnbull that their conversation was “the worst call by far” Trump had held with a fellow leader.
And from Trump’s call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, leaks revealed that Trump had threatened to send United States troops to invade Mexico to remove “bad hombres.” The administration confirmed that the leak was accurate, but dismissed the invasion treat as “lighthearted.”
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, who acts as a spokesperson for the newly-inaugurated president, slammed the phone call leaks as “dangerous,” while declining to confirm or deny that they came from inside the Trump White House.
Another recent leak portrayed Trump’s announcement of his Supreme Court nomination Tuesday as a reality show-style spectacle in which Trump insisted that both federal judges under consideration travel to Washington D.C., only so Trump could tell one of them to go home.
In perhaps the most scathing leak, following a botched raid by Navy SEAL commandoes on an Al-Qaeda terrorist headquarters in Yemen, military officials spoke anonymously to the press, charging that “Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.”
A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in the raid and three other servicemen were wounded. An 8-year-old girl was killed in the firefight.
Former New York Times editor Bill Keller told Talking Points Memo that many of the leaks may be coming from government officials unnerved by Trump’s harsh anti-government rhetoric, and that he had never experienced a volume of leaks as high as that coming out of the Trump White House this early in a presidential term.
“I think they feel less of the initial loyalty they’d feel to a new president because he’s basically told the world he doesn’t think much of them,” Keller said.
[Featured Image By Aude Guerrucci/Getty Images]