Morning Joe co-anchor Joe Scarborough told President Donald Trump to get some perspective Friday, after he complained on Twitter that the FBI has failed to stop “leakers” in the federal government from divulging classified information.
Trump, ratcheting up his war with the intelligence community, tweeted Friday morning: “The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security ‘leakers’ that have permeated our government for a long time. They can’t even find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. FIND NOW”
To which Scarborough replied: “I feel like saying to the president, one month late, ‘Welcome to Washington.’ because every president finds out you get checked…by judicial review, by a free press, the First Amendment, and even leaking from inside and outside your own administration. Donald Trump acts like this is the first time this has been happening.”
Trump’s tweets followed in the wake of CNN’s Thursday report that the White House asked the FBI to sweep aside news reports that Trump staffers talked with Russians during and after his presidential campaign.
The president has blamed “leakers” — and the media — for injecting so-called “fake news” into the public discourse. Some of the leaks have included “details of phone calls to heads of state that only a few people would be privy to,” noted Morning Joe co-anchor Willie Geist.
But New York Times reporter David Sanger, guesting on Morning Joe, said on Friday that leakers might actually be helping Trump’s administration find its footing.
“Leaks can be constructive because people can make sure an issue gets aired,” Sanger said.
Nonetheless, Sanger added: “Administrations are usually leak-free for the first couple of years because the people who come in with the president believe in him.
“This time, this has all happened in the first month or so. And I think in part it’s the fact that you’ve got an administration here who haven’t been in government before and don’t know these levers.”
Morning Joe airs weekdays at 6am on MSNBC.