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Otis Sanford: The problem with White House leaks

06 August 2017

The White House must, in particular, be the object of renovations during his absence.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: Oh, it's a deluge. Residents say that they never would have guessed that Bedminster would be home to the New Jersey White House. Aside from the predictable highlights - Trump's rambling, his use of first names when addressing heads of state, his weak grasp of policy details - the texts leaked to the Washington Post represent an unprecedented breach of White House confidentiality and should be cause for general concern.

The hyperbolic nature of this statement is only surpassed by Lawfare's Paul Rosenzweig, who wrote that the person who leaked the transcripts is "doing as much damage, if not more, to the United States than he ever will. Really".

GREENE: Well, so, I mean, presidents will often say any leaks are risky.

This is absurd. The Washington Post does not just blindly publish anything and everything that is leaked to them (and a leak like this has always been and will always be incredibly rare). The far more important revelation here - much more than what Trump may or may not have said - is that the Washington culture is crawling with people who would do something like this.

British model kidnapped in Milan, Italy, to be 'auctioned', police allege
In the house, "the model was kept handcuffed to a wooden dresser in a bedroom" until she was released on July 17, the police said. Police are investigating if the woman was abducted so she could be sold off as a sex slave in a Bitcoin auction on the dark web.

Donald Trump plays a round of golf after the opening of The Trump International Golf Links Course on July 10, 2012 in Balmedie, Scotland. This is getting unsafe, folks. "What's the point? If you're not enjoying your work, you're in the wrong job".

A White House official confirms the East Wing will also undergo infrastructural improvements.

"I would not be a president who took vacations", he said in 2015. You and I are friends. And when you refuse to name your source, but tell us to trust you that this is all on the up and up, why should we accept that when we already know that your source is a duplicitous liar? And it is certainly possible to point to past leaks that had dire consequences for USA interests writ large and for particular individuals who serve or work with our government, from careers curtailed to spies tortured and killed. The bigger news is that we know about this at all, and how we know it. But the default for journalists is we want the public to understand how their government works and why.

To date, Trump has fired three officials who were investigating him - FBI director James Comey, New York state US attorney Preet Bharara, and acting head of the US Department of Justice Sally Yates. I guess it's worth noting certainly not the first Justice Department - the first president to go after leakers.

"Our summertime is our busiest time", said Somerset Airport President Chris Walker, as a Coast Guard helicopter landed on the runway in preparation for the weekend. Because we know Trump puts himself, his ego and his interests ahead of everything and will do nearly anything to avoid looking bad, he might just decide to take his ball and go home. "My people stand up and say, 'Mexico will pay for the wall, ' and your people probably say something in a similar but slightly different language".

Otis Sanford: The problem with White House leaks