Today Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, General McMaster, took to the press with some comments which really makes one scratch their head when it comes to the way that the Trump administration is handling national security — as if we haven’t scratched straight through our scalps already. There are two major problems that stick out like a sore thumb to anyone at all familiar with the security of America.
1) Trump’s divulgence of classified information, not only to another nation but to a nation (Russia) which has proven not to have America’s best interest at heart. Note that the New York Times has reported that the nation in which the U.S. received this intelligence from was Israel. Russia is a strong ally of Iran, who is a sworn enemy of Israel. Russia could now share this information with Iran, which in theory could compromise Israel’s intelligence gathering capabilities and put their agents in harm’s way.
2) The apparent fact that Trump is still missing security briefings at a time when this nation is most vulnerable.
General McMaster, while not directly stating that either of these things actually occurred or are currently occurring, gave enough hints that one can easily read between the lines and see that both incidents are what caused the leaking of classified intelligence to the Russians. First, McMaster refused to say if the information that Trump passed on to the Russian Foreign Minister was or was not classified in nature, which surely points in the direction that it was. If the information was not indeed classified, there is no reason for McMaster to reject answering the question, as divulging that no classified information was discussed is obviously not considered to be classified in nature itself.
Secondly, McMaster indirectly has confirmed that Trump is still not attending security briefings, as he told the press today that the president wasn’t even aware of where the information he passed on to the Russians had come from. Surely if Trump had attended all of the necessary briefings, he would have known which information was and was not considered classified. This is why those security briefings are so important.
Rather than spending time at the White House, officials have said that Trump has been spending more and more time away from his Washington office, amid his downward spiraling relationship with his administration and press team. While some republicans may claim that they elected Trump in order to bring change to Washington, it’s highly unlikely that the change that they had sought was a more carefree attitude toward U.S. intelligence reports.
“Leaks” have been one of Trump’s biggest pet peeves since taking office, yet his sharing of classified intelligence reports with the Russians would seemingly be quite a big leak in and of itself. Trump has yet to comment on whether or not he knew that the information he shared with the Russians was classified.