As Ex-President, Trump Could Be a National Security Risk
Based on his track record of having a loose pair of lips that could sink ships, national security experts are warning that Donald Trump should be kept in the dark once he leaves office on January 20, 2021.
There’s a tradition that former presidents are entitled to receive briefings on classified matters after they’ve left office. Typically that occurs if they are acting as quasi-official emissaries of the United States to deal with problems around the world. Jimmy Carter, for example, likely received such briefings before President Bill Clinton sent him to diffuse a tense stand off in Haiti. When George H.W. Bush visited his son in the White House he sat in on on the President’s Daily Brief. No big deal – GHWB, one time director of the Central Intelligence Agency, could keep a secret.
Trump is a different story. Former intelligence officials say that once he’s sworn in as president Joe Biden would be wise to cut off Trump from classified information. The reason they cite: he’s already a danger because of the secrets of which he currently might be aware. Add to that the apparent financial pressure his businesses appear to be under and the sorry state of his personal brand after four years in the White House and those experts worry that Trump will see American secrets as a potential profit center.
“This is not something that one could have ever imagined with other presidents, but it’s easy to imagine with this one,” said Jack Goldsmith, who worked as a senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration. In an interview with NBC News he added, “He’s shown as president that he doesn’t take secret-keeping terribly seriously. He has a known tendency to disrespect rules related to national security. And he has a known tendency to like to sell things that are valuable to him.”
Not long after being sworn into office Donald Trump couldn’t help himself but to blab top secret national security secrets.
He posted a photo of himself and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe getting a briefing at a Mar-a-Lago dinner table about North Korean missile activity. He yukked it up in the oval office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak while spilling the beans about sensitive terrorism threat information the U.S. intelligence community had received from an ally.
He’s told the president of the Philippines the location of two American nuclear submarines. When Trump bragged about the commando raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi he revealed sensitive and classified information about the operation.
Most recently he couldn’t help himself and disclosed to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward that the U.S. military had developed a secret new weapons system, alarming officials in the military intelligence establishment.
Former CIA Director John Brennan, an outspoken Trump critic, says, “The new administration would be well advised to conduct an immediate review to determine whether Donald Trump should have continued access to classified information in light of his past actions and deep concern about what he might do in the future.”
One potential saving grace all of those experts point out is that Trump barely has shown any interest in the details of the national security briefings to which he has been entitled over the past four years and he is unlikely to change his ways at this point.