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Isn’t the first rule of Mole Hunt Club that you don’t talk about mole hunts? Under normal circumstances, perhaps, but the Donald Trump White House isn’t “normal” in more than one way. Chief of staff Mark Meadows has made it clear that plugging leaks to media is Job One, and he’s made his strategy for closing the spigots unusually plain, Axios’ Jonathan Swan reports:
President Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he’s fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. “Meadows told me he was doing that,” said one former White House official. “I don’t know if it ever worked.”
Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he’s caught only one person, for a minor leak. …
Meadows, Trump’s fourth chief of staff in three and a half years, faces the same problem all of his predecessors face: In the leakiest White House in modern history, how does one possibly satisfy a president who has privately said he feels like he’s surrounded by snakes?
This is a typical mole-hunt or leaker-hunt tactic, but it has its own problems. First, the dissemination of false information makes it tough to get work accomplished. The staff usually works off of the best information they have to achieve their objectives. The kind of bait that Meadows has to spread around will interfere with that, which means the team becomes less efficient and more prone to error.
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