In this White House, one former administration official said, media stories can become so intense and frequent that they “hit a critical mass,” turn into an echo chamber, and something must be done to stop the negative headlines and the president’s displeasure.
People could be canned, in other words, to set an example for others.
“The mood is bad. They are serious and somebody will pay the price,” said the former administration official. “While there have always been a lot of internal leaks, in this particular case, it was easy to isolate where it was coming from because it happened in a communications meeting.”