Rep. Ted Lieu is becoming well known for his Twitter quips, particularly when the White House or Congressional Republicans say something completely asinine. Right now, the Trump administration’s focus is on leaks, and it seems that everyone in the administration is railing about these pesky leaks. After Jeff Sessions went on his diatribe about leaks and the media, and how the Department of Justice is going to crack down, Ted Lieu shot back with possibly the most commonsense solution to the problem of leaks:
Dear Lyin Sessions: Leaks are interesting if they expose lies, crimes & stupid stuff. Stop the lies, crimes & stupid stuff and leaks go away https://t.co/axWgxNX4Vs
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 4, 2017
The name “Lyin Sessions” is a play on Trump’s nickname for Ted Cruz during the primary season. It’s also very pertinent to this administration since every other word out of their mouths is an outright lie.
Sessions wants to go after journalists who publish sensitive information, at least in terms of forcing them to reveal their sources. He has the DOJ looking into its policies on subpoenaing journalists and whether not they could turn the media against its own sources that way. It’s a dangerous precedent that would have a chilling effect on the free press, because their sources would become too afraid to say anything.
Chuck Todd, of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” tweeted a loud and bold response to the threat of subpoenas:
If DoJ media source threat is real (I assume it’s not; just a show presser to please WH) then I look forward to ignoring that subpoena
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) August 4, 2017
While ignoring a subpoena comes with its own consequences, the idea that any journalist would risk those consequences in order to protect their sources is very, very telling.
One of Trump’s biggest gripes is the press’s use of anonymous sources. We get to hear Sarah Huckabee Sanders turn those words into an epithet every single time she talks about leaks. The thing they refuse to understand is that those anonymous sources are only anonymous to we who read and listen to the stories. They’re known and vetted sources to the reporters submitting the stories.
Now, Sessions & Co. are claiming that they’re going after leaks that could threaten our national security. But even if that’s true right now, it won’t remain true. Sessions, desperate to get back on Trump’s good side, would eventually start going after leakers who discuss goings-on in the White House that are damaging to Trump, even if they’re nothing like a threat to national security.
Featured image via Zach Gibson/Getty Images