President Donald Trump on Monday criticized the media for what he called an overexaggeration of leaks from the White House، while at the same time condemning as “traitors” the leakers in his own administration، vowing to “find out who they are"، according to "Politico" magazine
“The so-called leaks coming out of the White House are a massive over exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media in order to make us look as bad as possible،” the president wrote on Twitter. “With that being said، leakers are traitors and cowards، and we will find out who they are!”Trump’s tweet comes after a story was leaked last week about a rude joke that White House communications aide Kelly Sadler made about Sen. John McCain’s health. In an internal meeting، Sadler dismissed McCain’s opposition to Gina Haspel، Trump’s pick to become the next CIA director، by saying: “It doesn’t matter، he’s dying anyway.” The Arizona Republican was diagnosed with brain cancer in July.
McCain last week announced his opposition to Haspel’s nomination because of her involvement with the CIA’s past use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques، which McCain and others have labeled torture. The West Wing، which has dealt with a number of leaks throughout Trump’s tenure، has tried to clamp down. Following the reports about Sadler’s comments، press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders scolded White House staff for the story’s being leaked to the media and even noted that that conversation with the staff “is going to leak، too،” according to reports by ABC News and Axios.
Deputy press secretary Raj Shah said on Monday that the White House had criticized leakers since the episode، which occurred at a closed staff meeting، and has said it created an environment in which officials feel they are unable to speak freely in meetings.
“When you work in any work environment … if you aren’t able in internal meetings to speak your mind or convey thoughts or say anything that you feel without feeling like your colleagues will betray you، that creates a difficult work environment،” Shah said. “I think anybody who works anywhere can recognize that.”