President Donald Trump has compared White House leakers with spies and mused obliquely to other officials about executing them. He’s attacked reporters by name. He rails frequently against media accounts of his administration, dismissing them as “fake news.”
But privately, the president is so obsessed with the leaks about him that he has frequently discussed whether to order polygraphs of White House staffers after major disclosures, according to four former White House officials — in what would be a stark and politically risky departure from past practice.
Trump “constantly” talks about ordering polygraphs during major leaks, according to a former White House official. “He talked about it a lot,” the former official said. After reading and watching reports about his presidency, “He’d be angry and ask, ‘Why can’t we stop these things?’”
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