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Trump boards Marine One. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty Images

"Despite active efforts to flush out administration leakers — including machines used to detect unauthorized cell phones in the West Wing — ... Trump and his senior aides haven't yet been able to stem the flow of damaging information," CNN's Kaitlan Collins writes.

The big picture: A few current and former White House officials tell Axios' Jonathan Swan that much of the leaking stems from an extraordinarily toxic and dysfunctional organizational culture that has persisted since inauguration.

  • Deeply factionalized. Lots of suspicion of peers. Constant questioning of loyalty. Constant use of press to settle scores.
  • And the response is always to hunt for the “leaker” and to try to instill fear, but rarely to examine that organizational culture that has led to such rampant leaking.

The backdrop, via CNN's Collins:

  • "The White House banned the use of personal cell phones [including Apple Watches] in the West Wing in January. ... Officials now either leave their personal devices in their cars, or ... deposit them in lockers that have been installed at West Wing entrances."
  • "Sources said it's common to find several staffers huddled around the lockers throughout the day ... The lockers buzz and chirp constantly from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday."
  • "Sweeps are carried out to track down personal devices that have made it ... into the building. ... [M]en dressed in suits and carrying large handheld devices have been seen roaming the halls of the West Wing, moving from room to room, scouring the place for devices that aren't government-issued."
  • "If one is detected, one of the men will ask those in the room if someone forgot to put their phone away. ... [I]f no one says they have a phone, the men begin searching the room."
  • "[A] group of lawmakers was waiting for the President in the West Wing while a sweep was being carried out. The device picked up a Samsung Galaxy, which was in the pocket of one of the visiting lawmakers."

Go deeper

Cuomo asks New York AG and chief judge to choose "independent" investigator into sexual harassment claims

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Feb. 24. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

A special counselor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Sunday asking the state's attorney general and chief judge to jointly pick an "independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation" to investigate claims of sexual harassment against the governor.

The state of play: The statement is an about-face from Cuomo, who had previously selected a former judge close to a top aide to lead the investigation, the New York Times reported, a move that was widely criticized.

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.

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