The controversial if not casual way various information gets handled in the Trump administration has become a nearly constant theme.
Former staff secretary Rob Porter handled classified materials despite having not been granted full security clearance.
Presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner still doesn’t have such clearance after he initially omitted past foreign contacts before repeatedly revising his forms.
In May, Trump spilled information gained from Israeli intelligence to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a face-to-face meeting concerning ISIS and laptop bombs.
Last February, Trump took a call about a North Korean missile test while sitting alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at dinner at Mar-a-Lago.
Club members looked on as they discussed strategy.
More recently, Trump publicly overruled FBI Director Christopher Wray by deciding to release a controversial Republican intelligence memo.
Back in August, Attorney General Jeff Sessions decried a “staggering number” of leaks since Trump took office and said he’d crack down on unauthorized disclosures.
After Steve Bannon was ousted as a top Trump adviser, the president accused him of leaking to the press while in the White House. But Bannon at one point told Vanity Fair that he had called Ivanka Trump to her face “the queen of leaks.”
Last summer, even political foes of the president thought the leaks were going too far.
By that time, classified transcripts of Trump’s phone calls with leaders of Mexico and Australia had appeared in The Washington Post.
“This is beyond the pale and will have a chilling effect going forward on the ability of the commander in chief to have candid discussions with his counterparts,” Ned Price, a former National Security Council official under President Barack Obama, told The Hill.
The misinformation that Trump tweets at will has raised questions of its own — including whom he relies on to keep him up to speed on key issues.
In October, Chief of Staff John Kelly told reporters: “It’s funny, I read in the paper . . . that, you know, I’ve been a failure at controlling the president or a failure at controlling his tweeting and all that.
“I was not brought to this job to control anything but the flow of information to our president so that he could make the best decisions.”