So what, exactly, is going on here?
Unknown hackers may have dropped private and sensitive information on several members of President Trump’s inner circle onto an open source forum called Hastebin. While the exact time stamp has been masked, the information contains personal phone numbers, email addresses, parking tickets, moving violations, the names of people related to them, and even Amazon Wish Lists. (Disturbingly, obtaining someone’s Wish List on Amazon is as easy as having the email address he uses to sign into his account. Are Amazon customers aware that their wish lists are open to anyone who knows their email address?)
Linking to the source is not something PJ Media will do because the information was clearly released to intimidate not only the targets but their entire families. These kinds of attacks are getting out of hand.
More research was required, so PJ Media reached out to the targets using the numbers from the document dropped on Hastebin. None of the numbers appear to be connected anymore. The email addresses also came back undeliverable, so it’s quite possible this list was a fake. Whether or not the phone numbers belonged to the targets, it’s a clear attempt at intimidation — and it happens all the time. More troubling than the phone numbers and email addresses were the names and addresses and phone numbers of all of their relatives. These are people who are not in the public eye and have no apparent political relevance.
Fake or not, it’s clear that there are people within the White House who have never liked Trump, and who are doing their best to contain the beast:
Hardly one month into his tenure as Mr. Trump’s latest chief of staff, Mr. Kelly has made a noticeable impact on the president by reducing the number of right-wing news articles making their way to the oval office, The Times reported Friday.
“Mr. Trump does not have a web browser on his phone, and does not use a laptop, so he was dependent on aides like Stephen K. Bannon, his former chief strategist, to hand-deliver printouts of articles from conservative media outlets,” the Times reported.“Now Mr. Kelly has thinned out his package of printouts so much that Mr. Trump plaintively asked a friend recently where The Daily Caller and Breitbart were,” conservative websites typically supportive of the administration and its policies, the report said.
Mr. Trump’s chief of staff hasn’t entirely curbed conservative news from reaching the president, however. “Mr. Kelly cannot stop Mr. Trump from binge-watching Fox News, which aides describe as the president’s primary source of information gathering,” according to The Times.
This disconnect between Trump and West Wing insiders has its roots in those who used to work for his predecessor, and many of them are still around:
So, the real battle Trump faces isn’t just with the media, or Never Trumpers in the GOP, but those on the inside-and it’s ultimately a battle he can’t afford to lose.