Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said that the administration officials who have been leaking information to The New York Times and The Washington Post are releasing the information in a "strategic" manner to undermine President Donald Trump's agenda during an interview Tuesday on "The Laura Ingraham Show."
Meadows, the chair of the House Freedom Caucus, said that the latest leaks that led to former national security adviser Gen. Michael T. Flynn's resignation are being used by the disgruntled Left to paint the president as "unfit" for office. And instead of focusing entirely on fulfilling his campaign promises, Trump's fledgling administration has been bogged down with leaked allegations and several prominent missteps.
"We need to also understand that these leaks are strategic. They're trying to undermine the progress, whether it's on immigration reform, whether it's on other issues of national security implications, or foreign policy."
"The leaks probably concern me more so than anything," Meadows told Ingraham. "We need to also understand that these leaks are strategic. They're trying to undermine the progress, whether it's on immigration reform, whether it's on other issues of national security implications, or foreign policy. It's troubling."
Flynn resigned after leaked details suggested the National Security Advisor had not been forthcoming when Vice President Mike Pence asked if Flynn had discussed sanctions with Russian officials prior to Trump's assumption of the presidency.
"I think what we've done is we've created a crisis in the midst of a few things that may or may not have been said," Meadows said. "And so in doing that, Laura, it is critically important that the millions of Americans who support Donald Trump, that they don't lose heart."
Noting that the president is a "very loyal individual" who highly values those who work for him and with him, Meadows insisted that Trump will always place the safety and wellbeing of American citizens first and foremost, nevertheless.
"Loyalty is a big thing to the president, and you can appreciate that," Meadows said. "At the same time, our national security -- I can tell you the president is not going to allow our national security, whether it is in the role of the national security adviser or our southern border or anything in between, get in the way of protecting the American people."
Meadows said the liberals are waiting to pounce upon any opportunity they see to delegitimize Trump -- even if their criticism is inconsistent.
"Here's the concerning part ... where you have some of the Democrats who are saying, 'Gosh, [Trump] needs to be more thoughtful and he needs to have a better plan to roll some of these things out.' So you're getting two arguments. It's interesting. Now we're having this morning, 'Well, he should have acted quicker.' And just a day or so ago, 'He should have acted slower,'" Meadows said. "I mean, there's no pleasing the Left, Laura, when it really comes to making change."
Both Ingraham and Meadows said that Trump needs to work seriously toward regaining and rebuilding his administration's credibility. Pointing to Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general Trump fired after she expressed insubordination regarding an executive order, Ingraham noted that Justice Department officials were "laughing" at Trump for temporarily retaining a "partisan."
"Yates -- everyone I know who's worked in the Justice Department who's worked with her said, 'Look. She's a smart person. But she's a partisan.' And they were laughing at Trump in the halls of the Justice Department," Ingraham said. "Now she's the person who ends up finding Flynn's comments, quote, 'highly significant' and, quote, 'potentially illegal,' according to an official familiar with her thinking -- another person in the Justice Department speaking to The Washington Post today."
If Trump wants to have a successful presidency, Ingraham and Meadows said he needs to rid himself and his administration of distractions and deleterious leakers by taking concrete steps toward making his policy platform reality.
"All I'm saying is that decision-making in the West Wing -- from who they put in as acting attorney general to how they rolled out this immigration executive order -- they've got to do better," Ingraham added. "Because they've made -- these mistakes have cost them precious time and they've lost the narrative."