Trump plagued by whistleblower, leaker and Deep Throat dangers

Trump plagued by whistleblower, leaker and Deep Throat dangers

For reasons discussed below, Americans will probably soon learn that the investigation of the Russian attack against America from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE has received dramatic assistance from at least one "Deep Throat" witness, perhaps multiple, who are putting country ahead of party and patriotism ahead of politics.

Similarly, the Trump presidency, from the inauguration until today, has been plagued by an ongoing cascade of leaks and whistleblower revelations, usually designed to expose scandalous conduct or offensive viewpoints from officials throughout his administration. 

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Recently, President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications' Chicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Ex-Trump aide: Surveillance warrants are 'complete ignorance' and 'insanity' MORE described the large number of leakers who plague his presidency as traitors. They are not traitors. In some cases, they are patriots doing what they believe is right for our country.

 

In other cases, they are Trump insiders dishing dirt against each other, employing time-honored tactics in the battle for power in Washington.

One major, underestimated reason for the cascade of leaks is that Trump has publicly humiliated, insulted or berated so many current and former administration officials that it sows disloyalty in the ranks. This is basic human nature. 

Revenge can be sweet, especially when the target of revenge is highly visible, such as the president, and the executor of the revenge is not visible, as is the case with most leakers.

Consider the most important issue: the investigation of the Russian attack against America from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is now facing an all-out war against him from Trump and his allies in Congress and the media.

First and foremost, Robert Mueller is almost universally regarded throughout the legal and law enforcement communities as a man of extraordinary integrity, courageous patriotism and legal scholarship and rectitude. 

He is under attack from those who do not want the Russian attack against America to be fully and fairly investigated who fear — probably correctly from their point of view — what that investigation would uncover.

It was former White House aide Stephen Bannon who described the infamous meeting at Trump Tower between Russians and high-level Trump associates with words that included “treason." 

Bannon correctly suggested that Americans who attended a meeting billed in advance as an opportunity for the Trump campaign to receive dirt against then-presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House protests extend into sixth day despite rain Clinton: US is 'losing friends and allies' under Trump Justice Dept releases surveillance applications for former Trump aide MORE should have immediately notified the FBI about this meeting.

It is widely noted by those who have been interviewed by Mueller and his special counsel team that the questions they were asked suggested Mueller had obtained a great deal of information before they were questioned. 

It is very possible, indeed likely, that some of this information was obtained from inside sources similar to the famous Deep Throat in the Watergate scandal.

Many of the sources for major media about various Trump associates involved in the multiple scandals, such as those involving Scott Pruitt, are not leakers but whistleblowers. They are not traitors, they are heroes exposing wrongdoing.

It is true that these leakers, whistleblowers and probable Deep Throats expose wrongdoing, scandals or actions that hurt the interests of the president and hurt the interests of Republicans in the midterm elections. 

They are not traitors, unless one views government as a cult of personality, with the president as the ruler, or as an exercise in crony capitalism, in which case the whistleblowers and leakers are traitors to the corruption they expose.

Personally, if I was a witness to the vile and sick joke that a White House communications aide made about a true American hero, Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Memo: Summit fallout hits White House Graham: Biggest problem is Trump ‘believes meddling equals collusion’ Obama, Bush veterans dismiss Trump-Putin interpreter subpoena MORE (R-Ariz.), I would not have leaked it for the simple reason that the leak itself caused pain for McCain family. 

But this does not make the “joke” any less vile and sick, nor does it absolve Trump from responsibility for it, since his public attacks against McCain and many others established a vile and sickening tone that some of his associates mirror.

Every time Trump insults another person who works for him, he creates another potential leaker. Every time a Trump associate is embroiled in a new scandal, it creates another potential whistleblower.

Every time Trump and his associates shamefully attack one of the patriotic heroes of our time, Robert Mueller, they create another highly patriotic Deep Throat candidate who believes that Americans, not Russians, should choose our American presidents.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.