Compare and contrast.
Some popular tweets about leakers, before Monday afternoon …
The real story turns out to be SURVEILLANCE and LEAKING! Find the leakers.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2017
The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security "leakers" that have permeated our government for a long time. They can't even……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2017
The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers! They will be caught!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2017
Ignore all the political theater — the most important question from this whole Russia investigation charade is simple:
WHO IS THE LEAKER? pic.twitter.com/rmXs5SPPCr
— Newt-Trump Fan Club (@NewtTrump) May 8, 2017
… vs. some tweets about leakers posted after Monday’s Washington Post bombshell:
An early look at tomorrow's front page…
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) May 16, 2017
Bad news: Trump revealed Top Secret intel to the Russians.
Good news: Trump found the leaker!
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) May 16, 2017
I have been asking Director Comey & others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017
President Trump shouldn't worry about leaks. He is his own leak.
— Mike Quigley (@RepMikeQuigley) May 16, 2017
If you don’t know what happened Monday, please go read The Post’s scoop, which revealed that Trump spilled highly classified intel to Russian diplomats without the source’s permission — potentially burning an intelligence partner and endangering anti-terrorism efforts.
That was some fine national security journalism.
Here, in this post, we are mainly interested in how that scoop turned upside down Trump’s years-long Twitter campaign to find “LEAKERS” inside the U.S. government.
His fixation dates to the Obama administration, when Trump claimed that the president was both a leaker and an abettor of leakers.
Obama has no problem leaking national security secrets. Why can't he release his records? Especially when $5M is going to charity.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2012
Military reps have attacked @BarackObama over Bin Laden leaks–they believe he's just using this for his benefit. Not a big surprise…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2012
But Trump’s anti-leak inquisition lost none of its fervor after he took power and quickly saw unflattering details from his own White House escape into the public.
“Every presidential administration leaks,” Paul Fahri wrote for The Post during the administration’s third week. “So far, the Trump White House has gushed.”
There were leaked details of phone calls in which Trump berated world leaders; leaked drafts of executive orders; leaked details of how the White House scripted a Supreme Court nomination as if it were reality TV.
Leaks and leaks within leaks.
Now, in Trump’s telling, the leakers were his enemies, hiding inside his government.
The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2017
As his presidency progressed, Trump began to narrow down his hunt for the moles.
They were inside the FBI, he claimed — reportedly firing agency head James B. Comey in part because he was “infuriated by what he viewed as the director’s lack of action in recent weeks on leaks from within the federal government.”
find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. FIND NOW
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2017
As The Post’s Aaron Blake wrote last month: “The ‘deep state’ is President Trump’s most compelling conspiracy theory.”
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that about half of Americans (48 percent) believe in the concept of a deep state — i.e. “military, intelligence and government officials who try to secretly manipulate government policy” — and 35 percent dismiss it as a conspiracy theory.
The belief is very bipartisan. While 45 percent of Republicans think it exists — perhaps thinking it is undermining Trump even as we speak — 46 percent of Democrats also think it exists — perhaps hoping it is undermining Trump even as we speak.
Last week, Trump even strongly implied that his former acting attorney general, Sally Yates, had a hand in unspecified disclosures.
Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017
And as is his common manner, Trump made these aspersions in public — usually on Twitter.
So when the president tweeted about leakers again Tuesday morning, after the world learned of his own less-than-watertight comportment with the Russians, his long, slow drip of accusations immediately blew back at him in a geyser of irony and indignation.
— autumn in vermont (@autumninvermont) May 16, 2017
— Leigh Van Bryan (@LeighBryan) May 16, 2017
Trump is unapologetic about leaking highly classified info to Russia, and misses the irony HE is the biggest leaker. pic.twitter.com/IRKPDnWMso
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) May 16, 2017
— Holly O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) May 16, 2017
WHITE HOUSE: Not a ban
TRUMP: It's a ban
WH: Not fired because of Russia
T: Fired because of Russia
WH: Didn't leak info
T: I leaked info
— Daniel Lin (@DLin71) May 16, 2017
— Zach Broussard (@ZachBroussard) May 16, 2017
— Tom Shattuck (@tomshattuck) May 16, 2017