The morning after the resignation Monday evening of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to argue that the “real story” ought to not be Flynn’s alleged misbehavior but rather how his actions had somehow been leaked to the media.
The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2017
Last month The Wall Street Journal obtained leaked information showing that Flynn had been placed under investigation by U.S. counterintelligence agents for having allegedly told Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak late last year that Trump planned to remove the sanctions placed against the nation by then-President Barack Obama.
In an interview with The Washington Post several weeks later, Flynn categorically denied these allegations, reportedly repeating assertions made by senior Trump administration officials. It was learned through additional leaks, however, that he had lied not only to the media but to officials as well. This is what spurred his resignation.
While the president did not dispute that Flynn had lied and needed to resign, his tweet suggested that he is more concerned about future potential leaks than he is about his former national security’s advisers actions.
Speaking with Fox News, Rep. Devin Nunes, R.Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, echoed this concern.
“There’s a major issue with national security here,” he said. “I would ask [the president and his aides] to take every precaution that they have in their toolbox, because we are dealing with such unprecedented leaks.”
“I don’t think there’s any measure that goes too far. If they have to stop sending emails, if they have to stop the distribution lists of discussions with foreign leaders, all of that’s going to have to be done and done in short order.”
While previous presidents have also faced leaks, none have reportedly ever had to deal with one so early in his presidency.
Reportedly driving the current leaks is the intelligence community’s unease with the president, according to Glenn Carle, a retired CIA operations officer and former deputy officer on the National Intelligence Council.
“People will put the country ahead of allegiance to someone who betrays the oath of office he took and I think that is what is happening,” he told Time magazine, adding that the president’s actions thus far have allegedly been “shocking.”
The problem, according to one unnamed source, is that the leaks are preventing the White House from focusing its efforts on the work that still needs to be done.
“I don’t know how it affects morale, but it is certainly a distraction,” the source explained to The Hill. “They have 55 firehoses aimed at them. Enough of the palace intrigue!”
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