The Obama White House had an anonymous leaker, too. Here's how they found him.

Barack Obama in 2013
(Image credit: Getty Images)

White House officials dishing anonymously to journalists, including specifically to Bob Woodward, is nothing new in Washington. All presidents have had to deal with leaks and insider sniping, though most have fared better than what President Trump apparently calls his den of "snakes."

"We had people who left the Bush administration and turned on us immediately," Eric Edelman, an undersecretary of defense in the George W. Bush administration, tells Politico, specifically mentioning former Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "But to have people inside the administration doing this while they're there, no." Former President Barack Obama, on the other hand, did have a mole of sorts, using the then-new medium of Twitter, as Politico explains:

In 2013 Obama administration officials hunted for a self-identified but unnamed official who tweeted internal gossip and biting commentary under the handle of @NatSecWonk, lambasting figures from Obama adviser Ben Rhodes to Hillary Clinton's daughter, Chelsea. An elaborate analysis of the tweets focused suspicion on a midlevel National Security Council nuclear arms expert named Jofi Joseph, who was caught after he tweeted information planted in a sting operation. Joseph confessed and was fired. He is now a tax consultant. [Politico]

Joseph did not get a fat book deal, but if you're curious about his @NatSecWonk body of work, Marc Ambinder wrote about it in The Week.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.