His fixation dates to the Obama administration, when Trump claimed that the president was both a leaker and an abettor of leakers.
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.
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.”
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.
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.