Memo to the Trump Administration

To:          The Trump administration

From:      The Four-Eyed Curmudgeon

Date:       May 17, 2018

Subject:  Leaks

________________________________________________________________

When a member of your administration leaks something to the press – whether it’s about a conversation with the president of Australia that went off the rails, about a member of the cabinet referring to your boss as a f—g moron, or, as we heard just last week, about a junior-level communications staffer showing off what she mistakenly believes to be her sense of humor by making an unfortunate remark about the life expectancy of a member of the U.S. Senate, it’s not the press’s fault for reporting on that leak.

Nor is it the fault of television and radio talking heads for talking about that leak.

Nor is it the fault of ordinary citizens who want to talk about the leak, ask questions about the leak, or seek further information about the issue raised by the leak.

No, it’s your fault.  YOUR FAULT.  When the president had that obnoxious conversation with the president of Australia shortly after he took office, there were what, four or five highly trusted people in the room at the time?  One of them leaked.  That means you’re trusting people you shouldn’t be trusting.  You’re exhibiting poor judgment.  Your own people are betraying you.

When a junior-level communications staffer made that comment about Senator McCain, there were what, five people in that meeting?  Ten people?  Fifteen?  Twenty?  They all work for the administration, isn’t that correct?  And you trusted them all, isn’t that correct?  Well, you made a grave mistake because at least one of them decided to betray that trust and share that ill-considered comment with the outside world.  You have exhibited poor judgment.  One of your own people betrayed you.

Once that leak is made, moreover, the information is out there.  You can’t put the toothpaste back into the tube.  You can talk all you want about how the leak is regrettable, about how the comment or information or whatever wasn’t intended for public consumption, but it’s out there and you probably need to address it.  If you choose not to address it, though, continually complaining about the leak and about the leak being reported is not an option. It makes you look ridiculous – ridiculous because you’re pretending as if the information that got out never actually got out, ridiculous because almost everything that’s being leaked is true and the one thing you seldom do is deny the truth of all these leaks, and ridiculous because the longer the whole thing goes on, the more you keep reminding people that you don’t even know who, among your own people, you can actually trust.

Which makes us trust you and your judgment and your efforts on behalf of your country – OUR country – even less than we already do.

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