During this week’s Republican National Convention, Donald Trump and his many of his speakers have made a great deal of noise about Hillary Clinton’s email server setup when she was Secretary of State.
Despite a total absence of evidence that Clinton’s system was ever compromised, the attacks have all accused her of endangering classified material as if she was just giving it away to strangers on the street.
But in the hours before he delivered his big acceptance speech, someone in Trump’s campaign leaked the full text to an organization run by Clinton ally and political hit man David Brock.
Correct the Record sent the text of Trump’s draft speech to its press list a little after 6 p.m., gloating “as if this convention hasn’t been enough of a failure for Trump, somehow he let US get a hold of his full remarks before the speech.”
[…] The Trump campaign did not respond to a question about how the draft might have leaked.
But a senior Republican operative working behind the scenes at the convention called the leak “a disaster” that proved that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his team “just aren’t ready for prime time.”
The Trump campaign has been criticized in recent weeks for sluggish hiring and lackadaisical management that have let Hillary Clinton’s well-oiled machine leave him far behind in terms of fundraising, get out the vote (GOTV) activity, endorsements, and ‘war room’ responses to the news cycle.
While this is not the first leak out of the Trump campaign — spokeswoman Hope Hicks accidentally copied Politico reporter Marc Caputo to an emailed campaign strategy document in March, for example — it is the first time we know for sure that someone on the inside has deliberately sandbagged the nominee.
Brock, who calls the Trump campaign “loose and disorganized,” insists the source is “not someone we planted to go in there and infiltrate.” (Yes, that is a thing which actually happens.) If true, then it suggests Trump’s tight-knit, family-centered campaign is being compromised by a volunteer with unknown motivations.
Could it be a secretive Ted Cruz supporter? A conservative with a conscience? Someone who has developed a grudge? The leaker could be all of these things, or none of them. The important thing to understand here is that the pressures of the campaign are not abating, which means this hole in the Trump campaign will only grow with time.
When the Democrats hold their own convention next week in Philadelphia, it will be the very last chance anyone in Trump-land has to rest up before the general election season begins in earnest. After that, the grueling demands of the campaign trail and the 24-hour news cycle will redouble, putting Trump’s insufficient staff under extreme stress.
Because if you are impressed that someone sent David Brock that speech, just wait until the middle of October, when that unknown person will be hustling all day, eating crap food, and never sleeping in order to do the work of two people for a campaign marked by infighting and top-down humiliations.
Why, at that moment, one angry staffer could make Clinton’s email server seem the very essence of security and discretion.
Featured image: Gage Skidmore
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