The Sources

A crime has been committed in your neighborhood and the police show up. Are you concerned about the perpetrator(s) being caught and brought to justice or about who called 911 to report the crime? In today’s political environment I guess that depends on whether you are a Trump supporter or not. Let’s explore.

It takes willful ignorance to believe that Trump and company haven’t done anything wrong and that Russia did not meddle in our 2016 election. However, that is the position of most Trump supporters including many Republican elected officials. They are not concerned about transgressions that in many cases are actually endangering American lives, but they are concerned about who is leaking information to the press.

In some cases (particularly most of the early ones) the leaks appear to be coming from career public servants who have worked through administrations of both political parties and in many cases under presidents that they neither liked nor supported. They are leaking in order to give the public a heads-up before it is too late. They realize that Trump is incompetent and has surrounded himself with fatally flawed amateurs who have no idea of what they are doing.

If you carefully listen to major, veteran reporters you can read between the lines that many leaks are coming out of the White House itself. The sources are Trump’s own people. Part of this phenomenon is the turf war going on in the West Wing. The sources on these stories are multiple because they are at their core self-serving. My theory is that many of the leakers are not the household names like Kushner, Priebus, Bannon, and Huckabee-Sanders; but second stringers who are close to the power although not well-known. This is a self-serving attempt to move up the ladder at the expense of their boss. Most people tend to view their organization very narrowly and assume they are the heir apparent to their boss’s job. This ignores the reality that there is a huge pool of talent in the outside world.

We forget that media people know who their anonymous sources are. They know the relative credibility of any stories they are being fed. Not surprisingly the inside the White House sources have proven to be much less credible than those in the agencies. The agency sources are most often motivated by love of country and actually have significant expertise and experience. The White House sources are rookies who don’t know what they are doing but want to move up fast. Career bureaucrats have “lifespans” that are measured in decades; administration political appointees have an eight year “lifespan” at best. You can retire from a federal agency; you leave the White House in search of a new job the status and compensation package of which is often determined by the job you last held in the administration.

We need to be obsessed with getting to the truth about the transgressions and not the sources of the leaks. The substance of most of the leaks will be proven to be true as time goes on. If Trump were truly serious about stopping the leaks that lead to what he calls “Fake news” he would look no further than the West Wing of the house that American taxpayers have provided him with. In fact spending a little more time there might make for a better job performance and certainly would save the American taxpayers a lot of money.

This article is the property of and its content may not be used without citing the source. It may not be reproduced without the permission of Larry Marciniak.