Longtime CIA agent Steven Hall is very unhappy that President Donald Trump is continuing to attack United States intelligence agencies. In an opinion piece in this morning’s Washington Post, Hall said that never before in U.S. history has a president been so openly and aggressively hostile to his own intelligence community.
Hall also said that he believes that Trump’s open hostility is severely harming the national security of the United States.
A president, after taking the oath of office, is sworn to preserve, protect and defend the United States and its legal system, not undermine it. But according to Hall, Trump’s actions, such as possibly sharing information with Russian President Vladimir Putin, have had a very negative, and possibly long lasting, effect on the country.
In particular, Hall writes in his op-ed that Trump’s severely strained relationship with the CIA is damaging America’s important intelligence and military partnerships with key allies around the world.
“Many allied nations have already taken note of Trump’s cavalier attitude toward sensitive information, as well as his apparent failure to understand the basic rules of intelligence sharing.”
“Recall when our president shared sensitive intelligence obtained from one of our foreign partners with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, for example.”
In addition to that, Hall says that America’s key allies are now very reluctant to share sensitive information with the CIA or other U.S. intelligence agencies. From now on, they will be extremely hesitant to share intelligence due to worries about what Trump will do with the classified information.
“I would be deeply surprised if many of our best intelligence allies were not already holding back information they would normally pass to their U.S. counterparts, for fear Trump might not be able to keep a secret.”
“Their concerns might even be darker when they consider the possibility that our president has reportedly discussed sensitive matters with Russian President Vladimir Putin behind closed doors with no record of the conversation.”
Trump has had several meetings with Vladimir Putin, and he has kept these discussions secret. So the president may be committing treason and sharing classified information with the leader of a foreign enemy. Trump may even be committing espionage, by spying for Russia and passing on information that only he has access to.
Treason and espionage against the United States are not just serious crimes, they also carry the possibility of the death penalty under federal law.
We may never know the details of what Donald Trump said to Putin in their secret meetings, but we do know that Trump’s actions have severely harmed U.S. relations with foreign allies, and have undermined the national security of the United States.
It is time for Donald Trump to leave office before he can do further harm to our country. It is also time for him to be held accountable for his crimes.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.