Back in mid-July, Political Mayhem reported on the leaked transcript of a conversation between President Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May. The conversation involved President Trump’s displeasure with the way he was being depicted by the UK media and seemed to ask PM Theresa May to influence them somehow so the UK media would cover President Trump in a more positive manner. The Sun UK released part of the transcript, which can be seen here:
President Donald Trump: I haven’t had great coverage out there lately, Theresa.
PM Theresa May: Well, you know what the British press are like.
President Donald Trump: I still want to come, but I’m in rush. So, if you can fix it for me, it would make things a lot easier. When I know I’m going to get a better reception, I’ll come and not before.
In February another leaked transcript of a conversation between President Trump and Australia’s Prime Minister was released. Chris Cillizza, from the Washington Post, reported that President Trump had a very confrontational phone call with Australia’s PM, where President Trump allegedly stated, “this was the worst call by far” that President Trump had with a world leader, and it is claimed President Trump hung up on the Australian PM.
Now it is being reported that the person responsible for these leaks has been revealed. Previously, when leaks of this nature were occurring, the mainstream media was not revealing specific sources or additional corroborating information to prove that the leaked information was accurate. However, we now know Megan Badasch, who is responsible for editing and managing these transcripts is the leaker. Ms. Badasch is also responsible for forcing out Tera Dahl, who served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the National Security Council. Ms. Dahl’s departure occurred after she served for less than six months in her role in the National Security Council. Mike Cernovich revealed this fact via of Twitter.
The revelation of Megan Badasch’s identity and her role in the White House came after it was reported that another classified transcript of a conversation between President Trump and Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto was revealed. President Trump apparently told the Mexican President, “It will come out in the wash, and that is okay. If you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that.” Though the comment does not place President Trump in a negative light, it does create cause for concern that Megan Badasch felt it was appropriate to leak these transcripts of private and classified conversations which President Trump had with world leaders. There has been no word yet on what if any charges will be filed against Ms. Badasch.
Washington D.C. lawyer Mark S. Zaid, who has defended whistleblowers points out that those in the Trump Administration who are leaking information are endangering national security and are not protected by the law. “As a matter of law, no one who leaks classified information to the media (instead of to an appropriate governmental authority) is a whistleblower entitled to legal protection…. The law appropriately protects only those who follow it.”39. The report can be read in full here on Politico.
Prior to Megan Badasch’s identity being revealed, the only other person so far to be held accountable for leaks under the Trump Administration era is former NSA contractor, Reality Winner. Ms. Winner printed, stole, and then mailed a top secret report to The Intercept. The top secret report discussed Russia’s involvement with attempting to influence the 2016 Presidential election.
Back in July, the United States Senate released a report detailing the effects of these leaks on National Security. The report “State Secrets: How an Avalanche of Media Leaks is Harming National Security” pointed out that in the first 126 days of the Trump Administration, 125 leaks occurred.
Hopefully, with the revealed identity of Ms. Badasch and the inevitable prosecution of former NSA contractor Reality Winner, anyone else left in the White House considering the leaking of classified information to the news media will think twice. These leaks have seriously hindered the Trump Administration’s private dealings with world leaders, yet the President has still managed to conduct the business of America effectively.