Feb 4, 2019

A big leak rattles the White House

Mike Allen, author of AM

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The massive leak of President Trump's private schedules, which dropped yesterday in the weekly Axios Sneak Peek newsletter, set off internal finger-pointing and speculation more fevered than any since the New York Times' anonymous op-ed.

The big picture: White House insiders said the leak sowed chaos. Cliff Sims, the former White House official who wrote the dishy "Team of Vipers," told me: "There are leaks, and then there are leaks. If most are involuntary manslaughter, this was premeditated murder. People inside are genuinely scared."

  • Madeleine Westerhout‏ — the director of Oval Office operations, who sits outside Trump's door — tweeted: "What a disgraceful breach of trust to leak schedules. What these don’t show are the hundreds of calls and meetings @realDonaldTrump takes everyday."
  • The N.Y. Times' Maggie Haberman tweeted: "A White House aide is weaponizing his schedules, which says a lot about how people in the White House feel about the man they work for."

What happened: The three months of schedules, Axios' Alexi McCammond and Jonathan Swan report, give unprecedented visibility into how this president spends his days.

  • The schedules show that Trump has spent around 60% of his scheduled time over the past three months in unstructured "Executive Time," which includes tweeting, newspaper-reading, TV-watching and phone calls.

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