We’ve all heard the tape. We all know that it isn’t good. And now that we’ve passed the most explosive moments from the Donald Trump “Access Hollywood” eruption, the next question is: Who leaked the 11-year-old audio?
As the fallout from the latest controversy to hit the campaign of the Republican nominee begins to rain down on the presidential race, new reports indicate that the man behind the tape leak might just be someone who still calls himself a “Republican strategist.”
In fact, that someone could well have close connections with the GOP establishment, including a very powerful Capitol Hill lawmaker.
Dan Senor is a top adviser for House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has done even more lately to distance himself from a Trump campaign that he never fully supported. Senor was also a campaign operative for the failed Romney-Ryan ticket in 2012.
In addition, he’s a favorite go-to “GOP strategist” for leftist media such as MSNBC. Senor’s wife is former CNN and NBC anchor/reporter Campbell Brown, who seemed to confirm the suggestion that Senor tipped off The Washington Post to the audio that became a focal point for Sunday’s second presidential debate.
Brown’s winky-wink hint that her husband was the conduit for the audio recorded in 2005 — a decade before Trump was ever in the presidential race — came in a rather flippant tweet. Brown had been asked by conservative journalist Mike Cernovich whether she and her husband were, in fact, the source of the audio about Trump’s sex-related bragging.
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) October 11, 2016
Brown had also been at NBC when the “Access Hollywood” tape was shot back in 2005, which could have meant that she was aware of it. Then there’s the fact that Ryan’s chilly relationship with Trump (exemplified by the rather dramatic manner in which Ryan canceled on Trump after the tape was released) hardly needs recapping.
In addition, rumors have been swirling around Washington that the source of the tapes wasn’t Democrats, but instead the Republican Party establishment. The Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft, not an unreliable source on these sorts of things, wrote, “I spoke with a reporter tonight who believes the reports are true. It was GOP elites who released the audio to the Washington Post.”
With this in mind, the chief suspect remains Senor. For those who aren’t familiar with him, he’s the “GOP strategist” that networks call on when they want to seem balanced and have a putative Republican to bash Trump, too.
Senor has been talking about the Trump audio tape to anyone who will listen, especially in 140 characters or less.
And Senor’s been doing this for a while. Check out this Aug. 29 appearance on CBS, when he went out of his way to trash the GOP nominee, saying that Trump’s campaign was in “chaos.”
“Look, I don’t think they believe they’re actually going to reach significant numbers of Latino voters,” Senor said, referring to Trump’s planned immigration speech.
Senor went on to say, “It just speaks to the strains of not having a real presidential campaign. When you have a real presidential campaign, you have surrogates, you roll out policy, you coordinate. There’s none of that going on and it’s chaos.”
This definitely isn’t someone who heard what Trump said to Billy Bush and decided that he was a bad candidate. This is someone who has an animus against the nominee and is going to do everything possible to derail the Trump train.
For his part, Senor has denied the claims that he was involved in the “Access Hollywood” affair, calling them “ludicrous.”
— Mosheh Oinounou (@Mosheh) October 11, 2016
Irrespective of how you judge Donald Trump or his behavior, consider for a moment what Dan Senor has been doing. He is an adviser to the man who is arguably the most powerful Republican in elected office. When the voters of his party nominated someone that he didn’t like, he didn’t just refuse to endorse him. Senor has actively worked in the fullest capacity possible to defeat Trump, campaigning harder against him than even some Democrats have.
This is indicative of how hard the GOP elite is willing to work to deny the man the voters of their party nominated. Dan Senor is just one of the most vocal of this crowd. Whether or not he was the one behind the tape leak — and he has both a motive and the connections — the point is that this sort of sabotage has been happening with alarming regularity.
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