Why this is the leakiest White House in history

via The Week by Paul Waldman

While journalists always like having as many sources as they can, time constraints usually mean each story will rely on only a few (sometimes as few as one). Five is better, 10 is fantastic. But recently we've seen lines like this one, from a Washington Post article examining the behind-the-scenes scrambling around the firing of FBI Director James Comey, particularly regarding the utterly implausible line the White House was putting out about how and why Comey was sacked: "But the private accounts of more than 30 officials at the White House, the Justice Department, the FBI, and on Capitol Hill, as well as Trump confidants and other senior Republicans, paint a conflicting narrative centered on the president’s brewing personal animus toward Comey."

Thirty officials! There are some seriously loose lips in this administration. And for that, we should be thankful.

In fact, there may never in American history have been an administration that leaks as promiscuously as this one. It's a field day for reporters, a gold mine for historians, and a gift to any aficionado of infighting, backstabbing, and tales of chaos among the powerful.

The Comey firing is hardly the first time that the White House has been beset by leaks. They come from everywhere and on every subject, from the high and the low, and from staffers in the White House, in agencies, and among the president's putative allies on Capitol Hill. They're often entertainingly profane ("This is a s--tshow," one GOP aide texted a reporter about the White House's handling of the Comey firing). The volume has been large enough that Slate writer Katy Waldman (no relation) was able to devise a taxonomy of anonymous leaks to enable you to determine which top official they come from.

The complete story here > Why this is the leakiest White House in history

US President Donald Trump attends a Mother's Day event hosted by First Lady Melania Trump for military spouses in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, May 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Gett


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