Why three White House advisers might have wanted to leak a fuller account of Donald Trump Jr.’s Russian lawyer meeting.
The New York Times had a big scoop Sunday that Donald Trump Jr. took a meeting with a Russian lawyer to try to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. As I wrote yesterday, that article was interesting for many reasons — for instance, it showed some Trump advisers were open to at least getting useful anti-Clinton information from Russians, and Trump Jr. has changed his story on what happened several times.
But one of the most interesting aspects of the story itself was actually the sourcing.
Reporters Jo Becker, Matt Apuzzo, and Adam Goldman said the story was based on accounts from “three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.” Here’s why that sourcing is intriguing.
First, the fact that these are White House advisers makes this story’s sourcing appear to differ from many other Trump/Russia investigation-related stories, which often seem to have been leaked from Congress or from law enforcement or intelligence agencies.
Second, these sources were apparently okay with being identified as White House advisers rather than demanding a more vague attribution to better hide their identities, such as “US officials.” That seems to suggest a strategic leak.
Third, there’s the number — this isn’t just one White House adviser, it’s coming from three. Again, that suggests a coordinated leak. It’s rare that three separate White House advisers would separately go rogue to leak about something, especially something that appears to be damaging information about the president’s son.
Because these sources are publicly anonymous, any account of their motivations will necessarily be speculative. Still, this story has all the hallmarks of a deliberate, strategic, White House-approved disclosure, so it’s worth asking just why the White House may have wanted to get this information out there.
Full story in article.