LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham said Tuesday on “Fox & Friends” that the White House needs to “jam up this leak machine that’s been plaguing this administration” for six months and hampering President Donald Trump’s agenda.
Ingraham noted that new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly suffered from a leak on his first day on the job Monday when multiple outlets reported that he had considered resigning from his position as Department of Homeland Security secretary after Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey.
In addition, The Washington Post published a story Monday evening featuring multiple anonymous sources’ claims that Trump dictated a misleading statement concerning his son, Donald Trump Jr., and his meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I think we need to jam up this leak machine that’s been plaguing this administration — and not just White House leaks. It’s leaks in the [Russia] investigation, perhaps, that we see with this Washington Post story today about this, you know, the Russia meeting and who crafted the statement,” Ingraham said.
“They have a lot of people spilling leaks out to reporters. And you always have to look for the people who look good in the reporting,” she added. “If you come off smelling like a rose in The Washington Post today, it’s a good chance that you are in a circle of people who could have leaked the information to The Washington Post.”
Ingraham said she hoped that Kelly’s appointment to replace Reince Priebus as chief of staff will help stanch the flow of damaging leaks from the White House and aid Trump as he continues to focus on pushing his legislative agenda. Pointing to reports that Kelly’s concerns led to the ousting of White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci on Monday, she said this move was a step in the right direction.
“I think Scaramucci — I like him personally a lot — but he had to go,” Ingraham said, pointing to his expletive-laced rant to New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza last week that was “beyond the pale,” in which he bashed and undermined Priebus and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.
“I mean, I was thinking that if they were going to show Reince Priebus the door last week, it would have been probably even better if Scaramucci was shown the door at the same time,” she said. “You simply can’t call reporters late at night and go on foul-mouthed rants and expect to have a lot of respect of a communications team who you’ve already threatened.”
“I had a feeling that the weekend would bring changes, and General Kelly without a doubt did the right thing,” Ingraham added. “You just — we’ve been saying this for months and I’m going to say it one more time. Message discipline requires one theme for a day. You can’t have 15 themes a day. You have one theme.”
“If the theme is, ‘We’re going to do tax reform,’ show me how you’re going to roll it out, show me how the president is going to go on national television and go through the four steps to tax freedom,” she continued. “Then you’re going to anticipate the attacks from the Democrats and you’re going to bat them down one after another. And you’re going to start a national campaign for tax reform.”
Noting that the president “knows how to win campaigns,” Ingraham lamented that Trump didn’t “really campaign” for health care reform as effectively as he could have done and left Senate Republicans to fail repeatedly on delivering his campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“That was a mistake. They turned it over to Capitol Hill,” she said, claiming that Trump should not have let Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) become the face of the GOP’s health care reform push.
“Mitch McConnell predicted … that Donald Trump was going to go down in flames in November. Who was right during the 2016 campaign about the pulse of the people on issue after issue? Donald Trump was right,” Ingraham said. “These guys were wrong time and again during the most critical election season of the last 30 years.”
If the newly staffed White House can stamp out the leaks, practice discipline, cultivate a unified message week by week, and focus on pushing Trump’s agenda relentlessly, she argued that Trump can become a truly “successful president” and bring the change to Washington, D.C., that he promised the American people.
“His instincts — the president’s instincts — are usually spot-on, on this issues. I think he needs to follow his instincts on policy,” Ingraham said. “Listen to the top lawyers you’ve hired, put a great legal team together, put a great communications team together, push the issues forward that got you elected. He’ll be a successful president because he must be for this country. We have no other choice.”