President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Orlando Amphitheater at the Central Florida Fairgrounds, Dec. 16, 2016, in Orlando, Fla.
Photo by Evan Vucci/AP

Trump discovers he doesn’t like leaks after all

NBC News reported last night that a senior U.S. intelligence official confirmed an important detail: intelligence professionals “picked up senior Russian officials celebrating Donald Trump’s win.” The official added, “Highly classified intercepts illustrate Russian government planning and direction of a multifaceted campaign by Moscow to undermine the integrity of the American political system.”

The president-elect, who’s spent months denying the U.S. intelligence community’s findings, initially complained via Twitter, “How did NBC get ‘an exclusive look into the top secret report he (Obama) was presented?’ Who gave them this report and why? Politics!”

This morning, Trump went even further:
“I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it.”
It’s a curious posture. Trump doesn’t want Congress to investigate a foreign adversary subverting American democracy on his behalf, but he does want Congress to investigate a news organization – in this case, NBC News – reporting details he doesn’t like.

Of course, during his time as a presidential candidate, Trump thought leaks were great … just so long as they benefited his campaign. At one point, the Republican literally encouraged Russia to leak stolen Hillary Clinton emails to news organizations, reminding Russian officials they would “probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

It appears he has a new perspective.

In related news, WikiLeaks, which literally has the word “leaks” in its name, denounced what it sees as an “illegal” leak. WikiLeaks went on to suggest that it’s against “unlawful” disclosures of government information “for political advantage.”

These are strange days, indeed.