US POLITICS

Leaks Make Trump Extremely Twitter-Angry

When leaks to the media make Trump look bad, he fires back on Twitter

US POLITICS
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Jun 09, 2017 at 8:11 AM ET

Update, June 9: Former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee was a mixed bag for President Donald Trump. Comey would not outright say that he thought Trump was trying to obstruct justice when he suggested that the FBI drop its investigation into former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and he confirmed that Trump personally was not under an FBI investigation. But he also accused the President of acting inappropriately, lying about him and the FBI multiple times, and said he gave memos about meetings with Trump to a friend to leak to the media, correctly believing it would lead to a special counsel being appointed.

Trump’s Twitter takeaway from all of this? You guessed it: he’s fixated on Comey being a “leaker.”

Original article: Another day, another potentially damaging leak for President Trump, followed by another round of tweets that place little to no blame on those responsible for the activity being leaked but promise repercussions for the leakers.

The Trump administration has been dogged by a series of leaks since it took over the White House— few of which present it in a positive light, and some of which allege serious wrongdoing by Trump or his staff. While every president has to deal with leaks (including Obama, who investigated both the leakers and the people who reported on them), few have been so vocally upset about them. And none have taken to Twitter to doth protest too much his innocence the way Trump can’t stop himself from doing.

But it wasn’t always this way! When there was a different president in office, Trump was upset about the leaks on President Obama because he believed they came from the White House to make the now-former president look good (Trump, of course, would never do such a thing). He demanded the kind of independent investigation then that neither he nor most other Republicans seem to think is necessary now.

Special bonus leak tweet:

While he was running for president, Trump was very supportive of Wikileaks, which once published leaked military documents provided by Chelsea Manning (a move Trump very much disapproved of later, after he was elected) but was now publishing emails between Democratic National Committee bigwigs and his opponent’s campaign chairman. These benefitted Trump’s campaign, so he repeatedly demanded that they be more widely covered by the media.

Then Trump was elected president, and the leaks now reflected poorly on him instead of other people. Suddenly, he was not so thrilled when the media covered leaks, nor was he blaming the White House for them, because he was the White House. (The Obama White House, of course, is a different story. Trump says he believes both the protests and the leaks that have plagued his nascent presidency are somehow Obama’s fault. Fox News, where Trump made those allegations, added that “Trump didn’t provide evidence to support the charge.”) Instead, he responded with furious tweets that, counter-intuitively, indicate that the information being leaked is accurate. After all, it’s not a “leak” if it isn’t true.

Here are the major leaks that have put the Trump and his administration in a bad light, and Trump’s Twitter responses to them:

Leak: Russian Hacking Report

The classified report on Russia’s role in hacks during the election showed that the Russian government was behind a “multifaceted campaign” to undermine the presidential election, including hacks of the Democratic National Committee’s emails and the distribution of them to Wikileaks. When Trump won the election, Russian officials celebrated.

Trump response:

Leak: Trump-Russia Dossier

The FBI is investigating allegations that the Russian government has incriminating information that could be used to blackmail Trump. Those allegations were serious enough that Obama, Trump, and certain members of Congress were told about them in a classified briefing. Also, Trump is into golden showers with Russian prostitutes.

Trump response:

Leak: Michael Flynn’s Communication With Russia

National Security Advisor Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador before Trump became president. Flynn resigned several days after the reports emerged, after which Trump let loose a flurry of angry tweets.

Trump response:

Leak: White House Asks FBI To Refute Russia Allegations

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI publicly refute the Russia allegations after they were leaked to the media, a breach of decades-old protocol. FBI director James Comey refused to do so.

Trump response (which includes another tweet about the Russia leaks, because Trump is still mad about them):

Leak: Jeff Sessions’ Communication With Russia

Attorney General and big league Trump fan Jeff Sessions’ meetings with a Russian ambassador (which he had denied having under oath) were revealed by a leak to the Washington Post, leading to Sessions recusing himself from an inquiry into Russia’s possible interference with the 2016 presidential election.

Trump response:

Leak: Trump Shared Classified Information With Russia

Another leak to the Washington Post revealed that Trump shared classified information about ISIS, which was gained from a foreign intelligence source, with Russian diplomats. Trump said he had “an absolute right” to share such information with Russia, which he did for “humanitarian reasons” as well as to convince Russia to “step up” its fight against ISIS.

Trump response:

Honorable Mention: FBI Is Investigating Russian Interference In Election And Trump Campaign Ties To Russia

FBI director James Comey was widely expected to confirm that there is an investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to the Russian government and its interference in the 2016 election, something Trump has vociferously denied but which continues to plague his presidency.

Trump response: Trump tried to get ahead of the story this time, tweeting a few hours before FBI director James Comey was set to testify with tweets calling any evidence that “Potus (sic) colluded with Russia” to be “FAKE NEWS” and also:

Honorable Mention, Preemptive Strike Edition: Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates Is About To Testify Before A Senate Subcomittee

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates was scheduled to testify before a Senate subcommittee hearing on the Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election, where she was expected to discuss how she warned the Trump administration about then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s contact with Russia.

Trump response: