Well, Donald Trump just can’t stop himself from causing extreme damage to the United States. Not only is he dramatically downsizing the federal government to screw the poor and destroying our reputation overseas by inciting violence against immigrants; his endless roster of impeachable offenses also includes revealing national security secrets and classified information. On live TV. A lot.
Trump’s embarrassing presidency, his blatant disregard for the U.S. constitution and his war against the intelligence community and the judiciary are disturbing, but his tendency to risk national security is truly infuriating.
You might recall how, in the wake of incriminating revelations about Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, the president repeatedly said: “The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.”
In other words, the classified information leading to the ouster of Flynn — just 25 days into his gig in the Trump White House — is genuine. By clearly stating “the leaks are absolutely real,” Trump confirmed the authenticity of the information that was leaked to reporters. Who the hell knows how this connects logically to the news being “fake,” but that’s Trump. He’s mentally unstable, so defying logic is what he does.
That wasn’t an isolated thing. It keeps on happening.
As reported by Salon: On Thursday night, Fox News Channel aired a segment from Tucker Carlson’s interview with the president, during which Carlson wondered why Trump doesn’t ask the heads of the intelligence community whether President Obama “wire tapped” Trump Tower during the campaign. Trump’s response was startling:
“I just want people to know, the CIA was hacked, and a lot of things taken — that was during the Obama years. That was not during us. That was during the Obama situation. Mike Pompeo is there now doing a fantastic job.”
So in his desperate attempt to deflect blame and pin the WikiLeaks dump of hundreds of highly classified CIA documents on Barack Obama, Trump appeared to confirm for the first time that the CIA was, in fact, hacked under the previous administration.
Yup. Trump inadvertently leaked classified information to Fox News, and Fox News aired the leak. Now let that sink in for a moment.
No wonder Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was outraged. The California congressman tweeted, “[The president] appears to have discussed something that, if true & accurate, would be classified.”
Not satisfied with the magnitude of our national mortification, Trump did it again on Friday.
During a joint press conference withith German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump turned to Merkel and blurted, “As far as wiretapping, I guess by this past administration, at least we have something in common.”
How about that? Trump seemed to have confirmed the authenticity of a National Security Agency (NSA) document released by Edward Snowden and published in the German newspaper Der Spiegel back in October 2013, claiming that Merkel’s cellphone had allegedly been wiretapped by U.S. intelligence. The Obama White House, however, never confirmed the veracity of that report. Obama merely pledged there wouldn’t be any wiretapping of Merkel during his administration. A pledge not to wiretap someone isn’t necessarily confirmation that it happened in the past, although it isn’t quite a denial either.
To be perfectly clear: Confirming that the NSA had indeed hacked Merkel’s phone is a significant breach of national security.
Trump is either too addled and mentally inadequate to be president, or he just doesn’t care: He’d do anything to satisfy his egomaniac pursue of self-glorification, settling grievances and retribution, anything to deflect from the investigation into his possible collusion with the Russian government. Trump is an existentially dangerous chief executive.
It’s worth observing that Trump has previously said that “leakers are going to pay a big price.” Well, if leakers must “pay a big price,” then so should Trump.
Now, we have to seriously ask the question: Why hasn’t Trump been arrested yet?