Sources: White House Leaks at Center of Discussions for Katie Walsh Replacement

Katie Walsh AP

Multiple senior White House sources tell Breitbart News that discussions to replace now former Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh—an ally of Chief of Staff Reince Priebus who was removed from her position on Thursday—center on who has been leaking information out of the White House.

Walsh was suspected of being a leaker, White House sources tell Breitbart News. They specifically say that a story first reported on Charles Johnson’s Got News weeks ago led to her ultimate demise. Walsh has been reassigned to an outside organization to support the Trump agenda, and White House senior officials presented the news on Thursday as a reassignment, not a termination.

But two sources with direct knowledge of these matters—one inside the White House and one outside—told Breitbart News on Thursday that it was Walsh’s suspected leaking that led to her removal.

In fact, the Washington Post’s White House bureau chief Philip Rucker even reported that White House staff were calling Walsh a Priebus loyalist and “leaky vessel.”

Now, there are four names—according to Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs—being discussed as a replacement to Walsh in the deputy chief of staff position. Rick Dearborn, the deputy chief for legislative affairs right now who previously served as chief of staff to now-Attorney General, then-U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, is the leading candidate for the position, White House sources say.

But the other three names being considered, per Jacobs, bring serious levels of concern. One is another ex-Republican National Committee (RNC) Reince Priebus loyalist—Sean Cairncross—who a White House senior aide described to Breitbart News as absolutely being a leaker from inside the White House, just like Walsh. Cairncross, who served alongside Priebus in the senior-most levels of the RNC, has been systemically leaking information designed to help Priebus and hurt Priebus’s rivals inside the White House, a senior official tells Breitbart News.

Senior administration officials have been aware of Cairncross’ leaking behavior, too, and have been watching him closely. An ex-RNC aide who served alongside Cairncross in Priebus’s old shop confirmed to Breitbart News, too, that Cairncross had a history of leaking information from the RNC, potentially at the direction of somebody higher than him. White House press secretary Sean Spicer has not responded to Breitbart News questions about Cairncross’s alleged leaking. 

As for Marc Short, a loyalist of Vice President Mike Pence and Joe Hagin, there are concerns as to whether he can perform the duties necessary in the position Walsh is vacating. Short currently runs White House operations and is described by Trump’s people as very capable at that job.

If Dearborn gets the position, as he is expected to per multiple White House aides, then there is discussion of bringing in David Urban to fill the position Dearborn will be vacating to replace Walsh. Urban, an ex-chief of staff in the U.S. Senate to the late Arlen Specter, is a Trump loyalist who was crucial to his win in the state of Pennsylvania. “Dearborn and Urban getting these jobs would be a win for the home team,” a White House official told Breitbart News.

Having two former U.S. Senate chiefs of staff with deep experience and connections on Capitol Hill—who are actually loyal to the president and support implementation of his ideas and agenda, not the ideas and agenda of other anti-Trump Republicans—could patch up many of the organizational issues on the inside.


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