The analogy of the sinking ship when describing the Donald Trump administration works on so many levels. Whether it is the number of people fleeing the ship before it’s fully submerged, or the incredibly high number of leaks emanating from White House aides, the analogy is more appropriate every day. This is evidenced by the recent departure of special assistant Kelly Sadler due to her incredibly inappropriate comment about John McCain, saying “he’s dying anyway” – and more notably, the Trump White House’s response.
As if such a terrible statement about a sitting Senator and war hero was a big enough cause for concern, it seems the Trump administration was more bothered that the comment leaked than it was that the comment was made to begin with. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders harangued the White House communications staff, not over the comment, but for the leak.
Sanders told staffers, “I am sure this conversation is going to leak, too, and that’s just disgusting.” Sanders was accurate in her prediction as five staffers provided details of the meeting to reporters from Axios. Due to these constant leaks, Kellyanne Conway recently told Fox News that she predicts even more White House staffers will soon be unemployed.
The level of leaks has become such a problem that a senior White House aide has started to utilize a “barium meal” test, or canary trap as made famous by author Tom Clancy in Patriot Games, in which someone provides multiple people the same information but with a slight difference in each document. When the leak is made public, the leaker is identified by the details that were only in that person’s version of the document. This comes after Chief of Staff John Kelly instituted a personal cell phone ban in January that included random searches of personal devices. Perhaps if those concerned about leaks put as much effort into eliminating reasons for people to leak, they wouldn’t have so many people fleeing the sinking ship.
I’m a ceramic engineer living in Central New York, avid sports fan but find myself more interested in politics lately.