While much of the media attention is focused on Donald Trump’s bumbling response to Hurricane Dorian and his continued use of the presidency for personal enrichment, new reporting on Monday showed that the president has been a disaster for the U.S. intelligence community.
According to CNN, [T]he United States successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government” largely because of Trump’s irresponsible handling of classified intelligence.
As Rachel Maddow pointed out on her program on Monday night, Trump and Republicans spent the entire 2016 election cycle saying Hillary Clinton couldn’t be trusted with classified information, but it is this president who has been egregiously mismanaging sensitive material.
“Trump so egregiously mishandled classified information and, in so doing, destroyed highly sensitive, highly effective foreign intelligence operations by telling the Russians about them,” the MSNBC host said.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) September 10, 2019
The whole grounds, of course, on which all the conservative media and Donald Trump opposed Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was that she couldn’t be trusted with classified information, right? Because she had a private email server where she did some of her State Department work, even though there was no indication that had ever been hacked or compromised or that she had used it for actual classified information. But nevertheless, that means she can’t get anywhere near the presidency. What the CNN report is saying – and now NBC News and The New York Times matching it as well – is that as president, Trump so egregiously mishandled classified information and, in so doing, destroyed highly sensitive, highly effective foreign intelligence operations by telling the Russians about them, that U.S. intelligence decided that Preesident Trump might burn America’s best source inside the Russian government. He might expose that person. He might get that person killed. And so they had to emergency ex-filtrate that person out of Russia to save his or her life. Not only does that tell you something about our president. It also means that U.S. intelligence no longer has that priceless source in the upper echelons of the Russian government.
Trump is a national security risk
Donald Trump spent his presidential campaign telling the American people that Hillary Clinton would be a national security risk if she became president because of the non-scandal surrounding her personal email account – despite her proven track record as a responsible foreign policy leader.
But after more than two and a half years in the White House, this president has demonstrated not only that he is up to his eyeballs in hypocrisy, but that he is a clear and present risk to American national security.
In this case, as Rachel Maddow pointed out on Monday night, it could have gotten one of America’s best sources of intelligence killed.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.