The Leaks Won’t Stop No Matter What Scaramucci Does

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Spicer bailed as soon as he heard the news, and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is reportedly unhappy, even though he was already experiencing isolation in recent days.

But the first to actually leave the West Wing was senior assistant press secretary Michael Short just hours after a report in Politico said he would be fired as a part of Scaramucci cleaning house.

But the new communications director appears to have a lot to learn. There are at least three sources of leaks he can’t possibly control, and shouldn’t bet on being able to get every staffer that he can control to comply either. Trump has set up a staff and atmosphere that is a recipe for leaks: even the most secure place in the world can’t keep all the drama in house, and it’s inevitable that someone will say something to the press on or off the record at some point.

Intelligence Sources

There are multiple officials at many different agencies who are privy to what is going on in the White House, including discussions around Russia and other issues. There is no way the White House communications director can (or should) be able to have any influence over what those people say, especially if they are “leaking” information they feel the American public should be aware of.

Primarily, unless information is explicitly classified, the “intelligent sources” that often feed the press are not doing anything illegal or as Scaramucci claims. “…leaking is atrocious. It’s outrageous. It’s unpatriotic. It damages the president personally. It damages the institution of the presidency, and I don’t like it. I just don’t like it.”

Whether he likes it or not, the public wants to know who is responsible for key decisions, and the press is going to rely on whatever sources they need to tell them.

People Fired or Who Resign Talk

Once a person is no longer a part of the White House staff or doesn’t work for the government any longer certainly feels no loyalty to the administration that fired them, especially if they feel they may have been unjustly fired or forced into resignation.

A simple example is James Comey. It turns out the memo that revealed Trump asked him to drop an investigation of Flynn, the source turned out to be Comey himself. He later testified that he orchestrated the leak through a friend after he was fired. There is not a thing Scaramucci can do about that, and the more people who are fired, the more people who are likely to talk.

The President

Donald Trump has a major penchant for taking to Twitter to air his grievances and reveal to his followers all the things he is doing and thinking. Many those followers are members of the press.

It’s hard not to watch Trump’s Twitter feed if purely from an entertainment perspective. But in many of his Tweets there are stories: stories waiting to be investigated and shared beyond the 140 character limits of Twitter.

Scaramucci has a huge job ahead of him. Amid leak after leak of vital information, Two sources who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity over the weekend said of Rex Tillerson’s former determination to gut it out for at least six more months as Secretary of State, they would “not be surprised if there was a "Rexit" from Foggy Bottom sooner than that.”

If he fires everybody, the White House might be a leakier place than it has ever been.