“These guys keep trying to find [the] traitors and are living out some political fan fiction”

Though Johnson would not name his White House contact and provided no evidence to back up the ostensible anti-Walsh collaboration, he insists that the White House orchestrated a sting operation to out Walsh as a source of leaks to major media organizations and that he was enlisted as an integral part of that effort.

He says the White House began feeding Walsh false information and then tasked Johnson with crawling the political web to document where that information turned up. The effort petered out, Johnson recalled, and he said he had not recently been in touch with the White House officials behind it.

Multiple Trump administration officials who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity to talk freely acknowledge that though Walsh was viewed more suspiciously by a number of her colleagues (several of whom saw her as, however justified, a “leaky” staffer), Johnson’s story sounds far-fetched.

“These guys keep trying to find [the] traitors and are living out some political fan fiction,” one Trump official with direct knowledge of Walsh’s activities and departure told The Daily Beast of Johnson and his ilk.