Last night the Washington Post sends the media nerve system crazy with this story:
Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats
The story begins as follows, bold print supplied:
President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.
The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.
The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.
“This is code-word information,” said a U.S. official familiar with the matter, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”
Take note of two things.
First: The existence of the story itself, unpublishable if someone in that room did not leak to someone else — who may, in turn, have leaked to someone else — in this case the Washington Post.
Second: Note this line, again, bold print supplied: “… according to current and former U.S. officials…”
Catch that? The words “… and former U.S.officials…?” How does any “former U.S. official” have any access… any access at all… to what did or did not go on in a highly classified conversation in the Oval Office between this or any President and any foreign leader? Hello? Hello? Is that you Obama holdovers?
Let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?
There were a highly classified handful of people in the Oval Office for that meeting with the President of the United States, the Russian Foreign Minister, and the Russian Ambassador to the U.S.
Whatever the President said or didn’t say was willfully, deliberately, and with malice aforethought — leaked to the Washington Post.
Just in the last week the Post published stories that said the Deputy Attorney General had threatened to resign. Reported the Post:
[Rod] Rosenstein threatened to resign after the narrative emerging from the White House on Tuesday evening cast him as a prime mover of the decision to fire Comey and that the president acted only on his recommendation, said the person close to the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
This story was specifically denied by Rosenstein himself, who was tracked down by Sinclair Broadcast Group’s D.C. affiliate WJLA. The station caught Rosenstein on camera and headlined:
Deputy AG Rosenstein: ‘I’m not quitting,’ didn’t threaten to quit over Comey firing
In other words? The Post story was false.
Then there was the Post tale that Director Comey had asked for more resources for the Bureau’s Russia investigation. As headlined here:
Furor over Comey firing grows with news that he sought resources for Russia investigation before his dismissal
And then? As I reported over at NewsBusters last weekend, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testified as headlined here:
FBI has sufficient resources for Russia investigation: McCabe
Let me be clear. I am a First Amendment fundamentalist. The Post has the constitutional right to publish whatever it wants to publish. But last week they got not one but two stories wrong. An issue of credibility that they love to lay at the feet of the Trump White House.
But let me be equally clear. No one… say again no one… who works for the President of the United States has the right to leak classified information to anyone, least of all a journalist. There can be only one reason for this leak, and let me speak that reason plainly: Sabotage.
Someone… someone…took classified information and deliberately and with malice aforethought leaked it to the Washington Post. For one… and only one… reason: To sabotage the President of the United States.
In my professional career in government I have worked for a State Senator, United States Congressman, United States Senator, a successful presidential campaign, a President of the United States and a Cabinet Secretary for a President of the United States. From the get-go I learned a fundamental rule. To wit?
If the boss is alleged to have made a mistake — or actually did make a mistake — you report the mistake either to the boss directly or your immediate superior. Why? So that the boss can correct the mistake if in fact it was a mistake. What you never do is go to the media with some smarmy, self-serving account that portrays you — the employee — as some uber-smart, all-knowing Yoda of whatever the subject. Why?
Because at that point you are about sabotaging your boss. So that you — the un-elected you in this case — can get quiet love-backs from your favorite reporter.
This is, make no mistake, disgusting, disloyal, and ultimately nothing more than the sabotaging of your boss. And, when your boss is President of the United States, the sabotaging of your country.
So. What to do?
For sure, the Trump White House needs a better understanding that there are people in the Trump government who are about sabotaging the President. And they need to take note for sure of this story from Michael Morell, the Obama-era acting CIA Director who said this of leaks from the CIA that popped up in WikiLeaks. Headlined CBS (bold print supplied):
Michael Morell: CIA trove on WikiLeaks “an inside job”
The story begins this way:
This week, the Central Intelligence Agency has been dealing with the release of top secret documents, apparently detailing highly-classed surveillance methods, which were published on the WikiLeaks website.
This is in addition to agency’s fraught relationship with President Trump, who criticized the CIA throughout his campaign and has recently questioned whether it has been the source of ongoing leaks that have dogged his administration.
CBS News senior security contributor Michael Morell, a former deputy director of the CIA, said there are a lot of questions about how the WikiLeaks release occurred, calling it an inside job.
“Absolutely. This data is not shared outside CIA; it’s only inside CIA. It’s on CIA’s top secret network, which is not connected to any other network. So this has to be an inside job,” he told “CBS This Morning: Saturday.’
He agreed that CIA’s systems need to be updated. “There [are] a lot of questions here about how did this happen? Was this a CIA staff employee or was this a contractor? How did they get their access to all of this data? How did they download it onto a thumb drive? How did they get it out of the building? Were there red flags that were raised that were missed? Were there any red flags on this system at all? So there’s a lot of tough questions here that the senior CIA leadership should be asking and that Congress should be asking.”
In other words? What Morell is saying here is that inside the CIA someone was deliberately — deliberately — sabotaging the CIA. Now, saboteurs have moved on to directly sabotaging the President of the United States.
This has to stop. The President of the United States — is the President of the United States. And for entirely political reasons, this President is being deliberately sabotaged.
It has to stop. For the sake of the country and the presidency, not to mention the intelligence agencies whose credibility is at stake — the sabotaging of the President has to stop.
Now. Period. Full stop.
Attention: Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Not to mention Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Mitch McConnell and all relevant committees of Congress.