As I wrote earlier in this post about leaks within the Drumpf Administration and the sources of that information, I inquired, “So why tell this tales? What is to be gained?”
Here, I offer three possibilities.
The first reason why someone might leak information embarrassing to and mocking of the White House is because they are making it up.
One actor that might be using that reason is the owner of the Twitter account @WhiteHouseLeaks. Purporting to be a mid-level staffer within the Drumpf White House, the tweets this person has been putting out paints an office run by an egotistical, petty, and self-aggrandizing man. The Daily Koz has more on this account with this story.
Is this Twitter account and the person behind it a legitimate leaker? At the moment, we cannot tell so the possibility does exists that this person is a fake. Of course, the possibility equally exists that this person speaks more truth than his boss (which given Drumpf’s divorced relationship with the truth would not be that difficult).
A second reason why someone might leak out information that paints Drumpf in a less-than-flattering light is because they truly want to publicize the misdeeds and foibles of Comrade Drumpf. My cases in point here are this story from The Washington Post that I linked to in an earlier post that related about what happened inside the White House on the day after the Inauguration related to Drumpf’s anger. The other example is this story (also from the Post) where it is related the Drumpf pressured the acting director of the National Park Service to find additional photos of the crowd at the Inauguration because Drumpf, according to the story,…
…believed that the photos might prove that the media had lied in reporting that attendance had been no better than average.
The Post’s sources for this story of pressure are identified as “…three individuals who have knowledge of the conversation.” Not one. Not two. But a trio of people came forward to the newspaper to tell tales out of school. That’s pretty good confirmation of a tale when you can get three people to confirm it. Heck, it only takes the confirmation of two people to convict someone of treason, according to Article III Section 3 of the United States Constitution.
I have only listed a pair of examples. This phenomenon of folks with access within the Administration running to the press with their tidbits of damning inside information is to such an elevated degree that it has even drawn the Post’s Chris Cilliza (he of the column “The Fix”) to write in this piece that…
…I’ve never seen so much leaking so quickly — and with such disdain for the president — as I have in the first six days of Donald Trump’s presidency.
“Disdain”. Yeah, that’s a good word.
However, there is a third possibility and it is here that the press will have to watch themselves. This final reason as to why someone might leak information to the press is because they are attempting to humiliate the press. I offer no proof, but I do offer this hypothesis.
During the last week, press reports came out that the Drumpf Administration was planning on reinstating so-called “black sites”, secret prisons located in foreign countries so that terrorism suspects could be held and interrogated using techniques that would be illegal if done in American facilities. This story from The New York Times uses the word “leaked” in the headline in reference to the draft document outlining the reinstatement and it attributes “three administration officials” as the source for the claim that the draft document was circulated among the staff at the National Security Council.
What if this draft document was handed to the press in an effort to discredit said press. The plan is that the Times, Post, and a host of other media outlets breathlessly tout this document and what it means only for Drumpf and his minions to offer conclusive proof that the document is a fake thus bringing scorn and ridicule on the press.
I grant you that this hypothesis may be granting more cunning and strategical thinking to the Keystone Cops currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but they did win, so that’s saying something about their shrewdness.