Monday, May 15, 2017

Treason? Trump Revealed Highly Classified Information to Russia


The irony that strikes me most about the self-style "patriotic Americans" and xenophobes who have blindly supported Donald Trump, a/k/a Der Trumpenf├╝hrer, - and that includes some "friends" who voted for Trump - is that treason is now apparently acceptable to these people.  First we have the obstruction of justice effort by Trump embodied by the firing of FBI Director James Comey with a goal of subverting the Russiagate investigation.  Now, as the Washington Post is reporting, Trump revealed extremely classified information to the Russia foreign minister and Russian ambassador even though the USA did not have permission to share such information.  Whether the disclosure of the information was a result of Trump boasting or simply undisciplined shooting off of Trump's mouth, true American patriots ought to be horrified at this latest betrayal of American interests.  And this concern does not even factor in who may now died as a result of Trump's loose lips.   Here are excerpts from the Post article:  
President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.
The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.
The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.
“This is code-word information,” said a U.S. official familiar with the matter, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”
The revelation comes as the president faces rising legal and political pressure on multiple Russia-related fronts. Last week, he fired FBI Director James B. Comey in the midst of a bureau investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
One day after dismissing Comey, Trump welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — a key figure in earlier Russia controversies — into the Oval Office. It was during that meeting, officials said, that Trump went off script and began describing details of an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.
The CIA declined to comment, and the NSA did not respond to requests for comment.
But officials expressed concern about Trump’s handling of sensitive information as well as his grasp of the potential consequences. Exposure of an intelligence stream that has provided critical insight into the Islamic State, they said, could hinder the United States’ and its allies’ ability to detect future threats.
“It is all kind of shocking,” said a former senior U.S. official who is close to current administration officials. “Trump seems to be very reckless and doesn’t grasp the gravity of the things he’s dealing with, especially when it comes to intelligence and national security. And it’s all clouded because of this problem he has with Russia.”
In his meeting with Lavrov, Trump seemed to be boasting about his inside knowledge of the looming threat. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” the president said, according to an official with knowledge of the exchange.
Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat.
The identification of the location was seen as particularly problematic, officials said, because Russia could use that detail to help identify the U.S. ally or intelligence capability involved. Officials said the capability could be useful for other purposes, possibly providing intelligence on Russia’s presence in Syria. Moscow would be keenly interested in identifying that source and perhaps disrupting it.
“Russia could identify our sources or techniques,” the senior U.S. official said.  A former intelligence official who handled high-level intelligence on Russia said that given the clues Trump provided, “I don’t think that it would be that hard [for Russian spy services] to figure this out.”
Senior White House officials appeared to recognize quickly that Trump had overstepped and moved to contain the potential fallout. Thomas P. Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, placed calls to the directors of the CIA and the NSA, the services most directly involved in the intelligence-sharing arrangement with the partner.
[Senator Bob] Corker also said, “The chaos that is being created by the lack of discipline is creating an environment that I think makes — it creates a worrisome environment.”
“I’m sure Kislyak was able to fire off a good cable back to the Kremlin with all the details” he gleaned from Trump, said the former U.S. official who handled intelligence on Russia.

Be very, very afraid.

1 comment:

EdA said...

Of course, as a candidate Benedict Trump rejected the conclusions of 17-1/2 U.S. intelligence agencies as to espionage being perpetrated by the Russians, taking the unsupported word of his BFF Vladimir Putin, who somehow had managed earlier to invade Ukraine without Benedict Trump's having noticed.