Unprecedented number of Trump administration leaks brings benefits and poses hazards

While trashing conventions at record-setting pace, the Trump administration has also set a new record for leaks. The leaks include transcripts of phone calls between Trump and Mexican and Australian leaders, drafts of executive orders, and details of the stage-managing of the Supreme Court nomination. Some see the leaks as whistleblowing, the exposure of initiatives that may prove troubling. (The Washington Post, February 5, 2017, by Paul Farhi)

John Harrman, The New York Times, February 6, 2017, warns that too many leaks can be hazardous. They can be seductive as a faucet of truth against power but also used in multiple ways, not always for the public good. “The White House will be beset by leaks;” writes Harrman, “It can also be expected to use them, to adopt their powerful language and to exploit the particular hazards — ethical, operational and legal — that they present to a press going through rapid structural change. Experienced as the exception, leaks promise a rare glimpse of unfiltered, unauthorized truth. As the rule, uncertainty will prevail.”