I’m thinking “How stupid are these people?”
And I did a face palm. And then I got pissed.
The serious part of this story is that there is a leak, someone is telling the media about classified conversations in the White House. This is called “espionage” and someone will eventually go to jail for it.
However, the President of the United States, by definition, does not “leak” – he can do whatever America needs him to do with classified information.
The President is the ultimate “classifying authority.” He decides at the highest level what must be kept secret and what must be revealed in the course of business. In fact, the whole classifying infrastructure is designed to support his ability to make these decisions.
Here is an example that will make you cringe. Hillary can never actually be convicted of a crime for compromising the Office of Secretary of State with her private email server. In an interview in October of 2015, President Barack Obama went on 60 Minutes and stated clearly that Mrs. Clinton did not harm national security through her actions. With that simple declaration, Hillary was absolved of any possible criminal charges. The President has that authority and his word in this case, is in actual fact, law.
In President Trump’s case, he is perfectly within his authority to warn the leaders of another country about ISIS or any other terorist attack. Whether to improve relations or to prevent widescale death or to attempt to elicit support on the ground or at the U.N. There are many possible justifications.
But that is the point.The President of the United States does not need to justify himself in using this information, he is doing America’s business. This is why we elected him.
Classified information is not generated to be kept in a vault. It is generated to inform policy and to assist in the business of America. In fact the sole reason for the existence of the CIA, NSA and the State Department is to support the President in forming, expressing and enforcing policy. If intelligence is too secret that it can’t be used for anything, why have it?
Did President Trump compromise a source? I don’t know the answer to that, but I doubt it (again, he can do that if he thinks it is necessary). Most of the time, the intelligence agencies will withhold detailed information on sources and methods. The President, of course, can demand those details, but most of the time he won’t. I am very sure that the President was aware of whatever sensitivities were associated with this information. The CIA briefers are very good at their jobs.
Bottom line, the Washington Post is lying, the New York Times is lying. Certainly they have someone on staff who understands how the our government works. The “experts” cited who are tearing their hair out about a security compromise are either lying, or they are fools.
Author’s note: Just so you know that I know what I’m talking about, I was an intelligence officer for 12 years. Believe me, all of these facts were hammered into us in our training phase. Elected officials have special privileges because they have special responsibilities. And with intelligence information, you never tell the President “no.”