President Donald Trump is so paranoid about leakers in the White House that he has repeatedly suggested using lie-detector tests to weed them out, Politico reported Tuesday.
Four former administration staffers told the news outlet that after seeing or reading reports about the inner workings of his presidency, the president would demand that leakers be found and had put forward the idea of subjecting all staff members to polygraph tests numerous times.
“He talked about it a lot,” a former official told the publication, adding that after reading and watching reports about his presidency, “he’d be angry and ask, ‘Why can’t we stop these things?'”
“He wanted to polygraph every employee in the building to unearth who it was who spoke to the press,” another former official told Politico.
Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, told Politico: “I have been with the president since July 2015 and can say unequivocally that I have never heard suggesting polygraphs as a way to stop leaks.”
Politico’s report comes as Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry by House Democrats related to his attempt to push Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a political rival, Joe Biden, a frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Trump has repeatedly attacked the person who provided information about his July 25 call with Zelensky to a whistleblower whose complaint ignited the impeachment inquiry late last month.
“I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information because that’s close to a spy,” Trump said in September in a closed-door meeting at the UN’s headquarters in New York, according to The New York Times.
“You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
As of Aug. 5, his 928th day in office, Trump had made 12,019 false or misleading claims, according to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker’s database.