White House so afraid of leaks they've now canceled daily staff meetings

Sen. Bob Corker R-Tenn.: Bloomberg

Sen. Bob Corker R-Tenn.: Bloomberg

Pompeo floats North Korea aid for denuclearization White House grilled over aide's mocking of McCain Politicians, media explode over White House aide's comments MORE (N.C.) on Thursday introduced legislation that would instruct the House to call on the White House to formally apologize for a staffer's "insensitive comments" that Sen. John McCain's terminal cancer has its roots in Donald Trump's declaration that he preferred heroes who had not been captured, as if McCain had somehow chosen to be shot down, imprisoned and tortured.

Senior White House aides have struggled to crack down on leaks since the beginning of the Trump administration and have employed a number of tactics to stop information from ending up in reporters' hands - including an infamous surprise cellphone check previous year under former press secretary Sean Spicer and a subsequent ban on personal cellphones in the West Wing that has ultimately failed to stop leaks.

The New York Times first reported the news.

"Periodically, we streamline our operations to better communicate the president's message", Deputy White House press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement about the restructuring of the meetings. The Hill was first to report that during a White House meeting, Sadler, a communications aide, had dismissed McCain's opposition to the nomination of Gina Haspel as Central Intelligence Agency director, saying the senator's opinion "doesn't matter" because he's "dying anyway".

Discussions about ending the sometimes unwieldy morning meeting had occurred before the Sadler leak, the senior official said, but senior staffers made a decision to pull the trigger on a number of internal changes in the wake of the McCain controversy.

Sadler has personally apologized to McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, but has not issued a public apology.

"A lack of staff discipline", one official said on background.

On Monday, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway - who has taken on more of a leadership role in the White House communications shop after former Communications Director Hope Hicks' departure - was asked by Fox News host Martha MacCallum on "The Story" whether she expected personnel changes as a result. Actually, yes I do.

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