February 4, 2019

One of the most stunning leaks out of President Trump's administration has returned the White House to a state of paranoia.

Axios on Sunday published months of Trump's private schedule, with 95 pages of documents showing that the president spends about 60 percent of his time devoted to unstructured "Executive Time." This leak "set off internal finger-pointing and speculation more fevered than any since The New York Times' anonymous op-ed," Axios reported Monday, also citing insiders as saying the document release "sowed chaos."

There have been plenty of leaks out of the White House, to be sure, some of which have inspired the staff to desperately hunt for who could have been responsible. But this one was far more severe than usual, as Cliff Sims, the former White House aide who recently authored the tell-all book Team of Vipers, told Axios. "There are leaks, and then there are leaks," he said. "If most are involuntary manslaughter, this was premeditated murder. People inside are genuinely scared." Daily Mail's David Martosko similarly reports, "I'm told this has the West Wing rattled, moreso than the usual petty leaking."

This reaction can be gleaned even just from the White House's strong pushback, with Director of Office Operations Madeleine Westerhout writing that it's "a disgraceful breach of trust to leak schedules." White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, meanwhile, defended Trump's Executive Time schedule by saying that this time is "to allow for a more creative environment that has helped make him the most productive president in modern history." Brendan Morrow

October 30, 2018

A woman is claiming that she was offered $20,000 by a GOP lobbyist to make up sexual misconduct allegations against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and the matter has now been referred to the FBI.

Peter Carr, the spokesperson for the special counsel's office, told The Atlantic Tuesday that they learned last week of allegations that women were being offered money to make false claims against Mueller and immediately contacted federal investigators. Mueller's office was apparently tipped off about the alleged plot by several journalists, who had recently been contacted by a woman who says she worked with Mueller in 1974. In an email to reporters, she claimed that a man working for GOP lobbyist Jack Burkman offered to give her $20,000 and pay off her credit card debt.

When asked what he wanted in exchange, she says the man told her, "I want you to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller, and I want you to sign a sworn affidavit to that effect." The woman has not been named and would not agree to an interview with reporters.

Burkman, who funded his own private investigation into the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, claimed on Facebook last week that Mueller has a history of harassing women, and VOA's William Gallow reports he had been offering a "major reward" for information on "wrongdoing" by Mueller for the past few months, as Mueller has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Burkman denied knowing the woman in question, but claimed that a "very credible witness" would make sexual assault allegations against Mueller on Thursday. Read more at The Atlantic. Brendan Morrow

September 7, 2018

President Trump is now calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department to find the author of Wednesday's bombshell New York Times op-ed, which alleged that members of the Trump administration are working to undermine the president from within.

While speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday, Trump said that finding the anonymous writer is a national security issue and that Sessions should, therefore, be launching an investigation, per NBC News. This comes after the president suggested that the writer of the Times piece committed an act of treason and demanded the newspaper turn the person responsible over to the federal government.

As CNN observes, there is currently no indication that the unidentified writer actually broke any laws. Rather, the writer — described as a "senior administration official" by the Times — characterizes themselves as one of many "adults in the room" who are working to prevent Trump from acting on his worst impulses.

But Trump claims that Sessions must find the author because they could have a security clearance and would, therefore, be authorized to attend a "high-level meeting concerning China or Russia or North Korea or something," The Washington Post reports. The president also said that the White House is actually a "well-oiled machine" that is "running beautifully." Brendan Morrow

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