Trump 'constantly' discusses using polygraphs to stem leaks: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE frequently discusses having polygraph tests administered after major news stories concerning the White House leak to the press, according to a Politico report.

Trump discusses ordering the tests "constantly" in the wake of leaks, according to a former White House official who spoke to the publication.

"He’d be angry and ask, ‘Why can’t we stop these things?’” a former White House official told the outlet. 


“He wanted to polygraph every employee in the building to unearth who it was who spoke to the press,” another former White House official said of the president, saying Trump was particularly angry about leaks he knew to be true. The former official added that some staffers have volunteered to take tests once they knew they were suspected of having leaked information.

Trump has floated the idea of polygraphing staffers since the first six months of his presidency, which saw numerous media reports of palace intrigue as well as the appointment of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay Trump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts MORE after Trump fired FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeySunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — Judiciary Democrats approve articles of impeachment setting up House vote next week Huckabee teases Hannity appearance, says he'll explain why Trump is eligible for third term MORE.

Aides have been able to persuade him not to take such a step each time, according to the publication, but he continues to regularly bring up the subject, with Politico’s sources differing on how seriously to take the idea.

“It was something that was discussed and people were trying to placate the president, and trying to show that they were taking it as personally and just as seriously as he was,” one former White House official told Politico.

“Taking that line of, ‘Oh yeah, we have to polygraph people’ was a way to ingratiate themselves with him, but it wasn’t an idea that ever went anywhere because it was absurd,” they added.

Experts have disputed the reliability of polygraph results, with the American Psychological Association writing that “there is no evidence that any pattern of physiological reactions is unique to deception.”

"I think the President and anyone in his Administration have the right to be frustrated and even angry about leaks. Leaking information, which is often times classified, only hurts this country," White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamWhite House on Greta Thunberg: Trump, first lady communicate differently Democrats approve two articles of impeachment against Trump in Judiciary vote White House vows to appeal ruling blocking use of military funds for border wall MORE said in an email to The Hill. "I have been with the President since July 2015 and can say unequivocally that I have never heard suggesting polygraphs as a way to stop leaks."

Updated at 10:55 a.m.