Donald Trump’s White House is plagued with extensive leaks, making his administration one of the most exposed in recent times. To counter against the leaks, many of which have come from inside the White House, Trump’s staff have reportedly launched an “aggressive manhunt” to find the culprit, according to Politico.
Trump’s staff members have reportedly sought the help of the White House IT cell, and have narrowed down on the list of potential suspects. The report suggests that the suspicion is not falling on members of the staff who have been appointed by Trump but instead on career White House employees.
One official told Politico that more investigation will be conducted before a conclusion is reached about the identity of the culprit.
“Both career and political staff receive the daily public schedule, but I want to be very careful that we don’t try anyone in the press,” the official said.
“It’s unprofessional to be trusted with information that is not intended to be publicly disclosed and then disclose it, whether it’s related to the president, related to your co-workers or your office, it’s just not professional behavior.”
Trump and his chief of staff Mick Mulvaney are reportedly in the loop about the progress of the investigation, with the President remaining keen on weeding out the leaker as soon as possible.
The White House is aggressively investigating several leaks of Trump’s private schedules that show his extensive "executive time" https://t.co/VK625tx9hw
— POLITICO (@politico) February 9, 2019
As reported by Newsweek, Trump’s private schedules — encompassing the time period from the midterms to the end of January — were published last week by Axios. It showed that 60 percent of Trump’s time — amounting to a staggering 297 hours and 15 minutes out of 502 hours — was categorized as “executive time”, which is believed to be the time Trump spends making phone calls and watching TV, among other things.
Compared to the “executive time”, Trump spent a total of 168 hours attending meetings, traveling, and eating lunch, leading many to speculate that the president has a lot of unaccounted time in his schedule. The report also stated that although Trump woke up at nearly 6 a.m. every day, he hardly ever turned up at the Oval Office before mid-morning.
The leaks of his private schedules destroyed any argument often made by Trump’s supporters of him overworking during his tenure. Not only did the leaks show that Trump’s schedule was mostly made of “executive time”, but it also brought into sharp focus the idea that he actually worked less than any of his predecessors.
The White House had defended Trump’s “executive time” as essential for creating a “more creative environment.”
“President Trump has a different leadership style than his predecessors and the results speak for themselves,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said.
But it is evident that the White House has been embarrassed by the release of Trump’s private schedules, and it might not be long before it zeroes in on exactly who is behind the leaks.