Ominous Warning Given to White House Staff Leakers

Press secretary Sarah Sanders says anyone who 'betrays' President Trump is a 'complete coward' who 'should be fired'

by Kathryn Blackhurst | Updated 16 May 2018 at 8:08 PM

Any White House staffer who “betrays” President Donald Trump by unauthorized leaking to the news media “is a total and complete coward” who “should be fired,” press secretary Sarah Sanders warned Wednesday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”

One of the latest White House leaks came recently, when someone made known a comment by communications aide Kelly Sadler Thursday during a meeting. Sadler said that Sen. John McCain’s refusal to support CIA director nominee Gina Haspel “doesn’t matter” because “he’s dying anyway” from brain cancer. Although Sadler called McCain’s family to apologize personally, she issued no public apology.

“What is going on at the White House? Because it looks like the president can’t even trust his own staff,” “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy asked Sanders.

Sanders replied, “Look, I can tell you there are a couple of bad actors. I think it is disgusting and some of the most shameful behavior that you could ever engage in. It’s an honor and privilege to work for the president and to be part of his administration.

“And anybody who betrays that, I think is a total and complete coward and they should be fired. We fired people over leaking before. I have personally fired people over leaking before. And we certainly would be very willing to do so again.”

Trump blasted leakers in a tweet Monday, saying, "The so-called leaks coming out of the White House are a massive over-exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media in order to make us look as bad as possible. With that being said, leakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!"

Doocy asked Sanders why the leakers "do it" and wondered if they leaked because they are "just trying to stab other staff members in the back" or are "trying to advance their political agenda."

"What the heck is going on?" Doocy asked.

Sanders suggested that "there are probably a number of reasons" why White House officials leak embarrassing information to the press.

"I think sometimes some of these leaks are made up and the reporters search for validation for them," she said. "But look, there's definitely something that has to be addressed. We're focused intensely on addressing it, and we take it extremely seriously."

But Sanders emphasized that any leaking constitutes "disgusting behavior" and is "one of the most disloyal things that you could do as an entrusted member of the president's team."

Related: Nunes Concerned Special Counsel Is Ignoring Illegal Leaks

Sanders also lamented that the flow of leaks from the White House often undermines and downplays the "amazing and big things" that are happening every day under Trump. The leaks also distract the administration from what it "should be focused on" achieving, she warned.

"That's certainly what our team should be focused on and what we'd like the news, frankly, to be covering," Sanders said. "There are all these big things happening. That's what they should be covering as well. It's a complete disservice to the American people that they spend so much time on a comment made in a private meeting, versus the comments that are made on a public stage that are literally changing the course of human history, that this president is engaged in."

When asked if Sadler will issue a public apology for her comments about McCain, Sanders noted that the White House is "dealing with this matter internally."

"I don't think we should continue to validate leaks that come out by making that the focus of what we're doing," she added.

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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