Those grievances reached a fever pitch with the latest White House controversy over the McCain comments, which overshadowed Trump’s triumphant scrapping of the Iran Deal and move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. But the crackdown that ensued — which limited the number of staffers present at the daily communications meetings — wasn’t the first. According to the Times, such a response was required after it was discovered that a junior aide was recording Trump and showing it off to friends:
But in recent Mr. Trump, who has never been convinced that his aides have his best interests at heart, has felt increasingly aggrieved. He blames his staff for not delivering better headlines on key initiatives, like tax cuts or a diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea. And he sees leaks as a cause of the distractions that have helped deprive him of those headlines, according to interviews with several current and former White House officials, all who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to describe internal discussions.
A senior White House official insisted that some of the procedures were meant to keep information secure, not stanch leaks, but other precautionary steps were taken in response to staff carelessness that fueled Mr. Trump’s sense of being undermined. In one case, a crackdown came after a junior aide was found to be taping meetings with Mr. Trump and playing them to impress friends, according to several people familiar with the episode.