This brief exchange happened on Fox News this Sunday morning between Howard Kurtz and Tucker Carlson during a discussion about the president being upset over the media’s use of anonymous sources:
CARLSON: And so I have used anonymous sources and I will continue to. I had lunch with one of them today. But Trump may be saying something different, which is that they are saying things that are untrue, and I think you can prove that.
KURTZ: That’s a better argument, I think. And there has been a lot of leaking of classified stuff, and I can see the president being upset about that.
Kurtz decided to justify the president’s petulance by stating that the leaking of classified information is influencing the president’s attitude towards anonymous sources.
I have heard the argument be made by more than one person that the reason classifiied information is being leaked is because our intelligence agencies do not trust trump. They do not trust that he is heeding his intelligence briefings; they do not trust that he is not passing classified information off to Russia; they do not trust that he is even believing the classified briefings he receives, as he has shown a propensity for believing what he sees on Fox News above believing anything else.
The argument then goes that someone or some people from our intelligence agencies is/are leaking classified information to the public in the hopes that we see it, and acknowledge it, so when trump lies to us, we have something to fall back on.
This is a serious allegation, and it is highly troubling to believe that our intelligence agencies do not trust their own president.
But, of course, we all know that what trump is really doing is poisoning the well. There is a concentrated effort being driven by president Bannon with the appearance that it’s coming from donald trump to delegitimize the media (except Fox News and Breitbart and their illegitimate offspring). A very strong argument can be made that the purpose of this delegitimization is to stave off coming allegations and evidence that the president-in-name is a wholly owned puppet of the Putin regime.
If the White House can negate the reputation of the media now, it will have to exert far less effort later, when our distrust of the media will be the only thing that the Bannon administration can rely on to save itself.