More to say about those leaks

The White House is leaking like a sieve. It’s “bad” and “sad,” to quote the common flourish at the end of Donald J. Trump’s tweets.

But are they illegal? Have they put the nation’s security at risk? Have they compromised strategic and tactical operations … anywhere in the world?

No. No. And no!

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats have issued a stern warning: Leakers will be hunted down and prosecuted.

For what? For exposing fallibility within the administration, in the president, in his top aides?

I point to transcripts of two phone calls the president made shortly after taking office. One of them went to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto; the other went to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The Pena Nieto transcript revealed that Trump spoke out of both sides of his mouth about whether Mexico would “pay for the wall” he wants to build our countries’ shared border. Trump has been telling U.S. audiences that they will; he told Pena Nieto, according to the transcript, that the wall wasn’t all that important to him. What gives, Mr. President?

The Turnbull transcript revealed the president’s stunning ignorance about foreign policy and about a deal struck between former President Barack Obama and the Australian government regarding the disposition of 1,250 refugees. Turnbull sought to explain it to Trump in elemental terms; Trump didn’t get it. He hung up on Turnbull.

Did either incident reveal anything regarding our national security? Did they disclose operational data? Did either of them do anything more than simply embarrass — if that’s possible with this president — Donald Trump?

Let’s all settle down about these leaks. I get that the president hates them. No president in the history of the Republic likes them. No president wants key staff or senior advisers stabbing them in the back.

Just maybe the cause of the leaks ought to be the president’s focus, rather than seeking to punish the leakers.

Might it be that these aides are talking to the media out of their own concern over the quality of leadership that’s being exhibited in the Oval Office?

Read more posts from High Plains Blogger here.

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