Donald Trump’s Department of Justice put out a brief, bizarre, panicked press release tonight, which carries the name of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein but doesn’t sound like it was written by him, essentially begging Americans to ignore any leaks from overseas intelligence agencies. Even in a surreal time in politics, this move is startling. And now we know what’s next.
The press release tonight from Trump’s DOJ is only three sentences long, but here’s the one that tells you everything you need to know: “Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country – let alone the branch of government – with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated.” link). It’s not difficult to read between the lines here: Trump has gotten word that something devastating about him is about to leak from a foreign intelligence agency, and he’s twisting the DOJ into preemptively debunking it.
Based on the fact that this was released late at night rather than first thing tomorrow morning, our educated guess is that the forthcoming leak is coming from the European intel community. Due to the time zone differences, the day starts five or more hours earlier in Europe than in Washington DC. So if the leak surfaces first thing in the morning in Europe, there would be no way for the White House to beat it to the punch with a morning press release. Hence why the panicked press release is coming out tonight.