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March 21, 2018

"Sources" Tip the Washington Post That Trump Had Been Warned, All-Caps, "DO NOT CONGRATULATE" Putin But Did So Anyway;
White House Suspects Someone on the NSC of Leaking

The number of people with access to the note cards given to the President about such matters is small.

[T]here’' only a handful of people at the White House that would have access to the notecards, according to two U.S. government officials and a former senior official familiar with the process.

Trump, along with other senior White House staff, believe it was an inside leak and suspect it was coming from National Security Council staff, sources with knowledge stated.


White House officials will investigate the leaks and a senior White House Official told this reporter in a statement, "If this story is accurate, that means someone leaked the President’s briefing papers. Leaking such information is a fireable offense and likely illegal."

I didn't quote a key paragraph explaining the process of how these cards are printed out and delivered to the president, to make sure you click on the link. But it's important.

Even Marco Rubio -- who is a Cold Warrior who despises Putin and is critical of Trump's offer of congratulations -- says whoever leaked this should resign, and is endangering national security by making the President justifiably wary of listening to a damn thing his national security advisers say.

Rubio expressed similar frustration over the leak, calling it dangerous.

"No, I don't like that he did it, but you know what I like even less? There's someone close to him leaking this stuff out," Rubio said.

He suggested that the leaker should resign.

"If you don't like the guy, quit. But to be this duplicitous and continue to leak things out, it's dangerous," he said.

The Florida senator went on to say he hated that there is someone in the president's inner circle willing to be so duplicitous.

"If you don't like working for the president, you should resign your job," Rubio said as he left reporters.

I'm not anti-HR McMasters (neither am I particularly a fan) generally, but it seems to me that McMasters has been told by Trump and by people in his own NSC that there were leakers and pro-Obama partisans on the staff, and that he should root them out or at least assign them to rubber-room type assignments where they can't do any damage. He has not acted on these warnings, and we now have two major leaks -- the transcript of the president's phone call with the president of Australia being the other -- that seem likely to have come from his NSC.

If McMasters doesn't take information security regarding his own staff seriously, I'm not sure he should or even can continue as National Security Adviser.

By the way: Note that word -- adviser. Not decision-maker.

A lot of the president's advisers seem to believe they're the bosses here, and get very angry -- the point of committing what may well be criminal offenses -- when the actual decision-maker ignores their advice.

Most organizations are filled with people who are quite certain they ought to be in charge, and are smarter than everyone else working there, but DC seems to be especially rife with such creatures.

This feels weird to even write, but employees and underlings really need to try to meet the actual boss half-way.

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