From Ron Johnson’s Committee Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Free Beacon, the numbers don’t lie.
Although … maybe they fib a little.
If you’re counting not just leaks but individual news stories based on leaks (which involves some overlap), the number is 125 — almost one a day in Trump’s first 126 days in office. Proof that the government that serves him is less loyal than the one that served Dubya and O? Sure, to some extent. But then, when you’re slow in staffing up and forced to rely heavily on holdovers from the last administration, which was led by a president from the other party, that’s no surprise.
This is worth noting too. A sample of news activity from May, the single busiest period for leaks:
Three of those leaks are related to the Russiagate probe and the other is a case of Trump himself allegedly blabbing sensitive material to his Russian visitors in the Oval Office. In fact, per the report, 78 of the 125 news stories involving leaks — nearly two-thirds — involve the Russia investigation. How do you compare a sui generis event like Russian campaign hacking and the endless political and legal fallout it’s generated to the far more mundane early months of the Bush and Obama administrations? How do you compare the president telling the Russian foreign minister that his recently fired FBI director is a “nutjob” to Bush/Obama diplomacy? None of that excuses leaking of classified information, which is illegal no matter what mistakes Trump or his campaign staff might have made. But if there’s a much greater volume of leaking thus far, it may be partly because there’s a much greater volume of things to leak about.
Still, even if you subtract all of the Russia leaks from the overall total, you’re left a with much higher rate of leaking under Trump than under Bush or Obama. If you’re pro-Trump, that’s proof that the “deep state” is out to get a populist president who’s more of a threat to shake up Washington than the last two guys were. If you’re anti-Trump, it’s proof that the intelligence community is rightly concerned about Trump’s foreign policy and is looking to keep him from going off the rails. Case in point: How should we characterize this timely new leak to CNN, published on the eve of Trump’s first face-to-face meeting with Putin?
Russian spies are ramping up their intelligence-gathering efforts in the US, according to current and former US intelligence officials who say they have noticed an increase since the election.
The officials say they believe one of the biggest US adversaries feels emboldened by the lack of a significant retaliatory response from both the Trump and Obama administrations.
Is that a hit piece aimed at making Trump look soft on Russia again or is it a red alert from intel pros who want Trump to take this more seriously and believe the only way to get through to him is by splashing this into the media?