For much of 2017, Donald Trump was obsessed with finding the “leaker” in his White House who were feeding one insider detail after another to the media. At various times Trump seemed to accuse everyone from his Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to his Chief Strategist Steve Bannon of being the leaker. He’s since purged them and dozens of other top advisers, yet the steady stream of leaks continues. It turns out one of the leakers is a guy named Donald J. Trump.
This should’t come as a surprise. Donald Trump famously used to call reporters and pretend to be his own publicist John Miller or John Barron, while using a fake voice, in order to put details about himself into the media. Now one of Trump’s own allies, Ronald Kessler, has written a book which claims that Trump has continued to leak things to the media since he’s taken office.
Kessler is claiming that Trump regularly calls up reporters from the New York Times and Washington Post – two newspaper he regularly attacks via Twitter – and gives them quotes that they’re only allowed to attribute to a “senior White House official.” Anyone who has worked in politics, or who has even watched The West Wing, is aware that presidential administrations do tend to leak information in this manner. What makes this odd is that it’s Trump himself doing the leaking, and that he’s leaking to news outlets he claims are “fake news.”
So now perhaps we know why Donald Trump has spent so much of his time in office obsessively targeting supposed White House leakers. He’s the leaker, and because he’s a classic projectionist, he’s felt compelled to accuse everyone else in his administration of doing what he’s been doing. Kessler also claims that – no surprise – Kellyanne Conway is also a serial leaker. Notably, she’s one of the few Trump senior officials who survived the purge.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report