- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 22, 2018

“I guess you just operate under the assumption that everything is going to be leaked.”

Between the outrageous and dangerous leak revealing secret details of President Trump’s telephone call with Vladimir Putin or Wednesday’s flurry of leaks about the behind-the-scenes negotiations over the omnibus spending bill, it’s clear that Chief of Staff John Kelly has not plugged the leaks in the West Wing. 

And Republicans in congress are pretty fed up. 

Axios reports that aides in the House and Senate are voicing anger and concern that pretty much everything they tell the Trump White House is susceptible to being leaked to the press: 

A senior GOP senate aide called (Jonathan) Swan to vent: “Everyone is over the leaks from this White House. Why is it that every emotional moment he has, has to be leaked, has to be a tick-tock, every second has to be transmitted to you guys in the press?”

The aide continued: “It is a disservice to the president when every single thing and every single thought gets leaked out … I don’t understand why people don’t get that. It’s not fair to the president, to his agenda, and to those who work hard every day to move the ball down the field.” 

A senior GOP House aide added: “I guess you just operate under the assumption that everything is going to be leaked out in short order, and you just have to be aware of that when you go into meetings with the White House.”

In addition to the frustration related in the Axios column, Sen. Marco Rubio absolutely unloaded on the leaks from Trump’s inner circle related tot the Putin call. When asked by CNN to react to Trump’s “congratulation” call, Rubio went off

“You know what I like even less? There’s somebody close to him leaking this stuff out. If you don’t like the guy quit. To be this duplicitous and leak stuff out, it’s dangerous. So I don’t like what he did. But I really hate that’s there’s someone in his inner circle that’s willing to leak this stuff. If you don’t like working for the president you should resign your job.”

Kelly is said to be “frustrated” with the recent leaks, but, as Rubio points out, this pattern is not just politically damaging, it’s dangerous. The Putin leak appears to come from Trump’s National Security apparatus and that buck stops with H. R. McMaster. The president should give Gen. McMaster 24 hours to discover his leaker and fire him or McMaster should tender his own resignation. 

It’s the honorable thing to do, and he knows it. 

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