White House leaks – as well as leaks from agencies in the government – are quickly becoming the bane of Donald Trump’s existence. As reported by CNN, a daily stream of scandalous, negative, or embarrassing leaks make their way from the White House and elsewhere to the media. But the leaks that forced Michael Flynn to resign from the National Security Council have been responded to with staggering hypocrisy by the Trump administration and many Republicans in the House and Senate.
Most Republican members of the Senate and the House, as well as people working in the White House itself, are apparently far more concerned about investigating the source of the leaks than the shocking information in the leaks – reported by the Associated Press – regarding Trump staff communications with the Russian government prior to the election.
Ignoring the Facts of the White House Leaks
Leaks of a letter from FBI Director James Comey a week before the election were enthusiastically embraced by Republicans when it benefited them. And given Republican attitudes last year about leaks from WikiLeaks – and possibly the Russians – regarding Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, if the current position by the majority of the Republican Party and Donald Trump on the Michael Flynn scandal doesn’t represent hypocrisy, then nothing is hypocritical.
In contrast to the Republican lack of interest in the contents of the recent White House leaks, Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah – who happens to be chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the House – has frequently affirmed his determination to continue investigating Hillary Clinton for – something. But on Tuesday, Representative Chaffetz made it clear he had no desire to look at the Michael Flynn/Russia/Trump administration connection.
“I think that situation has taken care of itself. I know that the intel committee was looking into the hacking issue previously.”
But like other Republicans, Chaffetz is very concerned about looking into the White House leaks themselves to find those actually behind the leaks. In Nixonian times, this was called a cover-up.
Over in the Senate, Senator Rand Paul demonstrated an almost superhuman hypocrisy – and also a surprisingly frank political slant on the leaks – by expressing his total lack of interest in looking into the matter any further.
As he put it during an interview about future investigations resulting from the White House leaks, “I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party. We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”
Implicitly suggesting that Republicans should only investigate Democrats could easily go down as one of the most remarkable demonstrations of political hypocrisy we’ve seen in decades.
Origin of the White House Leaks
Regardless of whether these leaks are coming from the administration itself, from intelligence agencies or the Justice Department, the White House leaks are apparently proving difficult – or impossible – to plug. This is perhaps just as well. As pointed out above – aside from Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham – Republicans are going to apparently oppose any real investigation into the Trump administration’s prior connections with Russia.
These associations between the Trump staff and Russia go far beyond just Michael Flynn. There is also the fact that the new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson received a medal from Vladimir Putin, while Paul Manafort – Trump’s previous campaign manager – worked indirectly for the Russians in promoting their agenda in the Ukraine. Trump himself reportedly owes money to Russian banks.
White House leaks are hardly uncommon, but the number of leaks in the first month from the Trump administration – and not to mention their possible origin from intelligence agencies and the Justice Department – demonstrates just how little trust so many working for Donald Trump in the White House or in various departments of government have in the current administration. More than this, the eagerness of Republicans to suppress these leaks points to their fear that more damaging information could easily come out.
[Featured Image by Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Images]