Former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta blasted the Trump administration after news that current chief of staff John Kelly was secretly taped in the Situation Room by Omarosa Manigault Newman, Politico is reporting.
Panetta, who has also served as CIA director and defense secretary, told Politico: “This is just another example that the traditional respect for the rules in the White House are just not there anymore.
“It’s not surprising to note that, like a number of other things in this administration, this is kind of unheard of.”
He said the taping represented an unprecedented “breach of security.”
Manigault Newman released a secret recording Sunday of what she claimed was her conversation with Kelly in the Situation Room, saying he “threatened” her while firing her. She had been a presidential aide.
On Tuesday, Trump praised Kelly for dismissing her and called Manigault Newman a “dog.”
“Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!” he said in a tweet.
Panetta said the president’s tweets about Manigault Newman have only made the situation worse.
“When a president now openly tweets the kinds of words he’s been using, not only does it bring down respect for the office of the presidency,’’ Panetta said, “it sends a signal to the world that we have a president who is not trustworthy in terms of what he says and what he does … because you just don’t know what he’s going to say next.”
And he called for tougher security in the White House.
“There’s an important lesson to be learned here,” he said.
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