Why Trump’s White House won’t stop leaking

The new White House communications director is launching a take-no-prisoners mole hunt, promising to stop future leaks.

He won’t succeed.

Over the past 15 years, I’ve worked in dozens of political organizations that all leaked to varying degrees. In 2008, I was the national press secretary for the Republican National Committee when internal concerns about vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin turned the final weeks of John McCain’s presidential campaign into a gusher of leaks.

In contrast, last year I was the communications director on Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign, an organization that proudly rarely leaked. Our campaign embraced a practice of not indulging self-serving media narratives that distracted from our message, which helped discourage unauthorized leaks—even as it became clear Donald Trump would win the nomination. (Our campaign was so leak-free that when CNN claimed to have a leak in the final weeks of Rubio’s run, I confidently went on air to call BS.)

Correction: This originally identified Bill Scher as the author of the essay, who kindly informed us that the proper author is Alex Conant. We apologize for the error.