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Otis Sanford: The problem with White House leaks

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —The national news media - especially the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal - have been extremely aggressive in pursuing the scandalous allegations plaguing the Trump White House.

Despite the constant criticism from President Trump and his followers that this is fake news, these outlets, for the most part, are doing a great job on an important story.

That being said, it is troubling when someone in the White House is leaking transcripts of the president`s private telephone conversations with foreign leaders.

The transcript of a conversation with the Mexican president, for example, revealed that Trump`s repeated assurance that Mexico would pay for the border wall - was just a political sham. Most people already knew that.

The problem is, leaking these classified transcripts sets a dangerous precedent - and has negative ramifications for future presidents. Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is correct to call for the immediate firing of any White House staff member found to be the source of classified leaks.

Others have called for the criminal prosecution of leakers.

Which also should be considered.

Others have called for the criminal prosecution of leakers. Which also should be considered.

Make no mistake. I support the public`s right to know. And I don`t blame the news outlets for publishing the material. All leaks are not equal. But sitting presidents must be allowed to speak freely with other leaders inside the Oval Office - without the fear of leaks.

I support the public`s right to know. And I don`t blame the news outlets for publishing the material. All leaks are not equal. But sitting presidents must be allowed to speak freely with other leaders inside the Oval Office - without the fear of leaks.

But sitting presidents must be allowed to speak freely with other leaders inside the Oval Office without the fear of leaks.

Anything less is a real threat to democracy. And that`s my point of view.