Trump did the one thing his advisers warned him not to do, and now he's furious that the whole world knows it.
Trump woke up raging against his usual set of enemies on Wednesday morning. But what prompted his latest bout of fury may have come from inside the White House — a humiliating leak on Tuesday that confirmed concerns Trump is nothing but a Russian lapdog.
Trump and his chief of staff, John Kelly, are reportedly furious that someone close to Trump leaked to the press that he was explicitly told not to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his recent election win.
Yet that’s what exactly what Trump, who’s accused of colluding with Russians, did.
“Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers [yesterday] when he congratulated … Putin on his reelection — including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating ‘DO NOT CONGRATULATE,'” the Washington Post reported.
The White House did not deny the claim.
“We had a very good call,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, describing the collegial phone conversation. Not only did Trump praise Putin for winning a rubber-stamp re-election, but he did so in the wake of accusations that Russia and perhaps Putin himself approved a military-grade nerve gas attack on private citizens in England.
The Trump-Putin call occurred at almost the same moment intelligence committee members addressed reporters on Capitol Hill. They stressed the need for election reform, in part to keep Russia from undermining another American election.
“The speed and sensitivity of the leak prompted immediate finger-pointing within the administration, as aides reeled from a leak that could only have come from a small group of people, each of whom is trusted with sensitive national secrets,” Axios reported.
It turns out Trump often doesn’t bother to read briefing materials prepared for him by top national security aides. Or Trump simply didn’t care about the all-caps advice and wasn’t going to pass up a chance to compliment Putin.
The latest embarrassing West Wing disclosure simply confirms that those who work closely with Trump fear his Putin alliance.