CNN's Erin Burnett characterized the Trump administration's preoccupation with leaks as a "deep paranoia" while interviewing Former CIA Director James Woolsey Friday about recent developments with the White House.
"The Trump administration has developed a deep paranoia for what they call the 'deep state,'" Burnett began. "Career employees in the government that they say are out to get them or against their agenda, and are working in the shadows against them. Perhaps that's part of the reason they're coming out so suddenly and firing these attorneys, we don't know. But this does seem to be a part of it, doesn't it?"
"It's really kinda hard to say, exactly," Woolsey responded, "why this is all kind of clumsy and messy. It's not that hard to do, and you do it from administration to administration."
"Sometimes there's disagreements about who oughta have more responsibility," he explained. "Back when I was DCI in the early nineties, we thought the FBI was trying to get too much authority over counterintelligence that we ought to have, and they thought that we had too much authority over counterintelligence. Sometimes there's normal pushes and tugs between different parts of the bureaucracy but it doesn't have to be like this, like what we're seeing."
The Trump administration might disagree with Burnett's description of their "deep paranoia," about the "deep state," given that leaks to the media led directly to the resignation of Mike Flynn as the national security advisor to President Trump. Flynn later registered as a "foreign agent" doing work that might have benefitted the government of Turkey, to the apparent surprise of Vice President Mike Pence.
Other leaks have plagued the administration at every step, prompting some to speculate about the existence of the "deep state," or an organized group of Obama hold-overs and other government employees ideologically hostile to Trump and his agenda.
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) March 11, 2017
Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer derisively described the attacks from the "deep state" as the "revenge of the losers" on Fox News.