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Some aides now refuse to communicate by email, given that federal law requires such messages to be archived for historians and investigators. Many have taken to using encrypted apps to get around the investigations Trump has ordered to clamp down on leaks. Others are skittish about even picking up the phone, assuming someone is always listening or monitoring calls. "It's dysfunctional, as far as national security is concerned," says Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican. "Who's in charge? Who's making policy? Who's making decisions? I don't know if anyone outside of the White House that knows."

I'm having difficulty understanding what the article in bold above is trying to say. However, I tried my best to make sense of this and here's the result.

"It's dysfunctional, as far as national security is concerned,"

It's an abnormal situation(dysfunctional) regarding national security that some aides are afraid to communicate by electronic devices. or The devices are useless(dysfunctional) since the leakage is prevailing and national security is concerning.

"Who's in charge? Who's making policy? Who's making decisions?

He is confused that who's to blame on all this drama(that all the information is leaking) taking place in White House.

I don't know if anyone outside of the White House that knows.

He's not sure if there is anyone who has no connection to White House yet knows about it.

For more information, visit the link below

: http://time.com/4672974/donald-trump-white-house-chaos/

  • Heh, and just so you know, it should be "confused by this paragraph." Heh, sorry, I just keep seeing it on the front page and I keep wanting to edit it :D. – Teacher KSHuang Mar 30 '17 at 9:37
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I think there is a typo in the final sentence.

I don't know if anyone outside of the White House that knows.

I think should be:

I don't know of anyone outside of the White House that knows.

Or even

I don't know if anyone outside of the White House knows.

Meaning that he doesn't think anyone other than the White House staff knows who is in charge, making policy or making decisions. The first two sentences you seem to have understood well.

  • I just added another guess in the first sentence. Could this be possible? – jack bang Mar 30 '17 at 10:06
  • While it is grammatically possible, I think your first assessment was correct - it is the situation that is dysfunctional rather than the technology. – TCassa Mar 30 '17 at 10:20

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