According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump has become obsessed with polygraphing anyone in the White House who might have contact with reporters because no one has been able to stanch the flood of leaks about his administration since he took office.
According to the report, Trump regards anyone who would leak to the press as a "spy," with Politico's Daniel Lippman saying there are loyalty issues within the administration.
"The president is so obsessed with the leaks about him that he has frequently discussed whether to order polygraphs of White House staffers after major disclosures, according to four former White House officials — in what would be a stark and politically risky departure from past practice," the report states." Trump has talked about ordering polygraphs 'constantly' when anything major has leaked, according to a former White House official."
According to a former White House official, "He talked about it a lot,” and that, when news breaks on White House doings, “He’d be angry and ask, ‘Why can’t we stop these things?’”
Appearing on CNN on Tuesday morning, Lippman explained that Trump's problem is White House employees don't think he is loyal to them, so they're not necessarily loyal to him.
"Trump’s interest in polygraphing his own White House staffers began amid constant reports in the first six months of his presidency of infighting, his behind-closed-doors raging about various news stories — especially the Mueller investigation, and how the James Comey firing went down — according to the first former White House official," Lippman writes. "In particular, Trump has been upset about how certain call transcripts, draft executive orders and other palace intrigue stories have made their way into the press."
The report also notes Trump staffers attempt to humor him with plans for mandatory polygraphs, in the hope it will soon blow over and he'll move on to something else.
“It was something that was discussed and people were trying to placate the president, and trying to show that they were taking it as personally and just as seriously as he was,” explained a former White House official. “Taking that line of, ‘Oh yeah, we have to polygraph people’ was a way to ingratiate themselves with him, but it wasn’t an idea that ever went anywhere because it was absurd.”
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