Donald Trump has a problem.
Factions within the government are plotting against him.
And it’s about to blow out into the open and it could mean the end of his Presidency.
National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was forced to resign after what radio host Laura Ingraham described as “death by a thousand leaks.”
While no one has accused Flynn of committing any criminal acts, sources within the intelligence community framed information in the most damaging way possible while leaking it to friendly, anti-Trump media outlets.
Flynn discussed sanctions against Russia in a late December phone call with the Russian ambassador.
As incoming National Security Advisor, it was within the scope of reasonable behavior for him to discuss the state of affairs with foreign counterparts.
The Wall Street Journal reported Flynn only discussed the sanctions in general terms:
“U.S. intelligence services routinely intercept and monitor conversations with Russian diplomats, officials have said. The transcripts of the conversations don’t show Mr. Flynn made any sort of promise to lift the sanctions once Mr. Trump took office, the officials said. Rather, they show Mr. Flynn making more general comments about relations between the two countries improving under Mr. Trump, people familiar with them said.”
But those facts did not get in the way of a runaway press pile-on led by members of the intelligence community who were happy to cherry pick information to leak in order to hurt the Trump administration.
Breitbart News reported that there “sleeper cells” within the government of Obama loyalists and career bureaucrats steadfastly opposed to Trump:
“Many other potential Yateses—holdovers from the Obama administration who have found their way into spots throughout the Trump administration—await throughout government.
“They’re hiding like sleeper cells everywhere,” one source said.
White House and other government sources say there are as many as 50 of them throughout government, and Priebus has full knowledge of their whereabouts, who they are, and what potential for damage they may cause. He is not doing anything about it, these sources add.”
Sally Yates was the Acting Attorney General who defied Trump by refusing to instruct the Department of Justice to defend Trump’s extreme vetting executive order.
Trump promptly fired her.
Eli Lake, writing in Bloomberg described what happened to Flynn as “political assassination.”
He argued that the selective leaking of monitored calls by U.S. officials and U.S. citizens is tactic used in authoritarian governments.
Lake also wrote that Flynn was a target for Democrats, Obama loyalists and intelligence community stalwarts resistant to his reforms:
“Flynn was a fat target for the national security state. He has cultivated a reputation as a reformer and a fierce critic of the intelligence community leaders he once served with when he was the director the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama.
Flynn was working to reform the intelligence-industrial complex, something that threatened the bureaucratic prerogatives of his rivals.
He was also a fat target for Democrats. Remember Flynn’s breakout national moment last summer was when he joined the crowd at the Republican National Convention from the dais calling for Hillary Clinton to be jailed.
In normal times, the idea that U.S. officials entrusted with our most sensitive secrets would selectively disclose them to undermine the White House would alarm those worried about creeping authoritarianism. Imagine if intercepts of a call between Obama’s incoming national security adviser and Iran’s foreign minister leaked to the press before the nuclear negotiations began? The howls of indignation would be deafening.”
The Obama loyalists within the bureaucracy and intelligence community – none of whom were elected – carried out a coordinated campaign to sabotage the Trump administration.
These forces have been described as “sleeper cells.”
Will they take down the Trump administration for good?