Don't let the FAKE NEWS tell you that there is big infighting in the Trump Admin. We are getting along great, and getting major things done!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 7, 2017
“We are getting along great, and getting major things done!” the president wrote from his personal Twitter account, hoping to dismiss reports by several leading news outlets published over the weekend.
Politico wrote that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus had been taking blame over some of the administration’s embarrassing mishaps, while the Washington Post reported on Trump’s anger over the backlash that followed revelations that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had met with a Russian official. The controversy led to Sessions deciding to recuse himself from Justice Department investigations into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.
Much of the turmoil within the administration is relayed by anonymous White House sources, many of whom likely fear the consequences of speaking openly.
However, the ongoing leaks have become a sore subject for Trump and his close advisers, with the administration attempting to clamp down on inside sources spilling the secrets of the West Wing. In late February, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had allegedly held a surprise search of his staffers’ phones.
At a sprawling press conference last month, Trump explained his stance on leaks and what he considers “fake news.”
“[T]he leaks are absolutely real,” Trump said. “The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.” The president added that the “tone” of the articles is often what he believes makes them fake. “The tone is such hatred,” he said.
As a former reality TV star, Trump continues to be driven by approval and infuriated by whatever would undermine his ratings, and the cry of “fake news” continues to be the weapon of choice against prevailing stories of an apparently chaotic and factionalized White House.