Boastful Trump To Russians Prior To Sensitive Classified Information Reveal – “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day.”
It was not enough that the meeting in the Oval Office with Russian Ambassador and top Russian spy in Washington Sergey Kislyak came the very day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the lead law enforcement official over seeing Trump-Russia campaign collusion investigation. It was not enough that stated meeting barred all American media but allowed Russian photographers in the Oval so their state TV could plaster images of our President all smiles with Kislyak and the Russian Minister all over their airwaves (and giving United States citizens our only glimpse of the meeting). Just when we think things cannot look any worse, the Washington Post breaks a story about Trump in a boastful and off the cuff fashion, revealing highly sensitive classified information to the Russians that was shared by a US ally regarding ISIS, as well as the specific city the intelligence came from.
US intelligence experts are left reeling from this blatant breech of handling of classified information, as most anyone who remotely pays attention likely knows by now, but to briefly sum up the main points, they all seem to agree on with regard to the recklessness of this action is the following:
- By law this is not illegal because the President retains the right to declassify information at any time.
- Despite no law having been broken and no direct sources and methods having been grossly disclosed, it is extremely to divulge information this sensitive at risk of:
- Risking the lives of the assets that obtained the information.
- Losing the confidence of the ally that shared this information and hence losing their cooperation for future intelligence sharing.
- Sharing it with our chief global adversary without prior vetting and process from intelligence agencies was an abysmal breach of protocol and ethics.
National Security Adviser General HR McMaster quickly jumped to damage control mode last night stating that the report was false, which his boss quickly refuted on Twitter this morning as he confirmed what he told the Russians and was clear that it was his right to do so. In essence, the President said, “Yeah I did it, because I can, so too bad.” In the White House briefing room today, McMaster had to change his version of his interpretation of the report and state that Trump did share classified information but it was “wholly appropriate,” and he was not concerned that it would compromise methods and sources.
However, according to the Washington Post’s source within the Oval Office, Trump shared this intelligence off the cuff, in an almost boastful fashion stating, “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day.” For example, …
According to every intelligence expert interviewed today with the exception of McMaster, while it is not necessarily unusual for a President to divulge classified information with another state (even an adversarial one), to do it off the cuff with no process for making certain that the ally that shared the intelligence with the US is okay with the sharing of sensitive information, and that methods, sources, and lives are no put in danger, is careless beyond measure. McMaster even closed his White House briefing clearly stating that the President had not even yet been briefed on the source of the intelligence he was so eager to share with Russia’s top spy!
Even if you take the Russia stroking that this President will not cease to continue to engage in out of the equation, this is yet another glaring example of a White House in disarray, a POTUS that is reckless and clueless about the gravity of his position, and a narcissism that runs so deep that he would rattle off highly sensitive intelligence in an attempt to show the Russians how great he is as President with the “great intel” he receives every day.
Just when we think things cannot get any worse…
Stay tuned and buckle up!