The 10 biggest leaks of the Trump presidency
Rebecca Zisser / Axios
As President Trump pointed out, his biggest problem has quickly become a leaking administration.
The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by "intelligence" like candy. Very un-American! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2017
A grain of salt: Obama had major leaking problems too. Like in 2012, shortly after his re-election, when officials leaked to the New York Times that the then-President had authorized secret cyber attacks on Iran. Or Edward Snowden in 2013, the guy whose name has become synonymous with government whistleblowers.
- The "National Guard roundup": The AP published a story this week on a draft Homeland Security memo that would call up National Guard units to round up illegal immigrants. The administration quickly denied it was considering the idea, but someone leaked that memo.
- That dossier: CNN reported that Trump and Obama were briefed on documents that included scandalous allegations about Trump and his connections with Russia. BuzzFeed then published the unverified dossier.
- Torture executive order draft: Only days after the inauguration, a draft of an executive order started circulating detailing plans to reinstate the CIA's "black site" prisons and using Gitmo for detainees. It's uncertain where this came from, and nothing has come of it since.
- Religious freedom executive order draft: Another draft executive order was leaked by an unknown source. The order would let private companies choose not to cover contraceptives for their employees and to speak out "on moral or political issues from a religious perspective," without losing their tax-exemption. Many feared an order like that would lead to discrimination of the LGBT community. Turns out, Ivanka and Jared helped keep Obama's LGBT orders in place.
- His conversation with Australia: An official told the NYT that the call between Trump and Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was heated and had an abrupt end.
- His conversation with Mexico: Dolia Estevez from Forbes reported that sources from both sides told her that Trump threatened to send U.S. military to Mexico during his "friendly" phone call with President Nieto.
- The raid in Yemen: Military personnel leaked information about the raid in Yemen, which led to the death of a Navy SEAL. They accused Trump of not having the proper intelligence before signing off on the raid.
- Gen. Flynn's phone call: Weeks after the FBI warned the Trump administration that then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn talked about Obama's sanctions during his call with Russia in December, the information was leaked to the press, which ended up with Flynn forced resignation.
- The insiders: Republican Senator John McCain told reporters on Tuesday, "It's a dysfunctional White House, and nobody knows who's in charge." Others have told journalists, including our Mike Allen about the "borderline chaos" of Trump's administration, Steve Bannon's growing influence, Trump's dramatic process for selecting his SCOTUS, etc.
- Contact with Russia: Then last week, several news agencies reported on more contacts between Trump and Russia. The story was sourced to officials within the administration.