President Trump’s own violations of basic norms about secrecy have dwarfed those of anyone who works for him. He publicly called upon Russia to spy on his political opponent and leak the result. He proclaimed his “love” of Wikileaks. He discussed highly classified information with the Russians (a fact we know, ironically, because of a leak). He discussed sensitive national security matters at a restaurant table amid onlookers. Nothing about his conduct signals seriousness about handling sensitive information or respecting boundaries of privacy.
More broadly, his erratic and deviant behavior has violated all kinds of norms of presidential conduct. Think about the president who uses his Twitter account to demean his own attorney general, or who exploits a Boy Scouts gathering to give a blatantly political speech, then ask yourself why anyone working for him would feel the need to scrupulously observe boundaries.
Perhaps most important, the President’s chaotic style and insistence on sycophancy often mean that serious problems do not get addressed until they turn up on the front page of the Washington Post.