President Donald Trump grew furious after it quickly leaked that he had been instructed by his national security advisors to not congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his recent election victory, according to a source close to the President.
Trump was reportedly angry Tuesday night, going through his allies and outside advisers to find out who they thought had leaked the information. According to the source, only a small group of staffers had access to that information and known what protocol was included when Trump talked with Putin over the phone. In addition, the source claims that the latest leak reaffirms the president’s long-held belief that individuals within the White House are actively working to undermine him.
White House chief of staff, John Kelly, was also extremely angry that a confidential presidential briefing managed to slip through the cracks and into the public’s hands. A White House official said that Kelly will address the issue on Wednesday.
Media sources reported that on Tuesday, Trump congratulated Putin even though he was instructed by multiple national security advisors and briefing materials to not do so. The White House has declined to officially comment on the matter.
Trump has been said to seldom make phone calls to foreign leaders while he is still in the residence. National security adviser, H.R. McMaster has been known to accompany the president during these calls and was reportedly present during the president’s Tuesday morning call with Putin.
According to Tuesday’s White House public schedule, Trump was not scheduled to be in the West Wing until noon, when he greeted the Saudi crown prince.
One White House official described the atmosphere that followed the leak as filled with anger and disappointment.
While it is still unclear if Trump read the guidance that was given to him prior to speaking with Putin, several officials have noted that the president strays from instructions when talking to foreign leaders.
Image Source: Kremlin.ru