Remember the good ol' days when Hillary Clinton was a criminal for having no classified information on a private server? Trump loved bashing her for it. "Lock her up!" was the mating call of the angry Trump voter. Trump brought it up so often that even his critics assumed he would be security conscious after spending so much time slamming Clinton and the DNC over their security breaches.
But being president is really hard and who has time for all that security nonsense?
Sunday night, CNN reported details of the moment that Trump, joined by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, learned about a missile launch in North Korea. Trump and Abe were enjoying dinner at Trump’s exclusive Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida at the time, but, CNN reported, began to discuss the details of this international incident right there at their table.“
As Mar-a-Lago’s wealthy members looked on from their tables, and with a keyboard player crooning in the background,” CNN’s Kevin Liptak reported, “Trump and Abe’s evening meal quickly morphed into a strategy session, the decision-making on full view to fellow diners, who described it in detail to CNN.”
That is astonishing. This was done in a public restaurant, surrounded by civilians that had zero security clearance. They took pictures of the President of the United States dealing with national security in public because stopping dinner to move to a private setting was too much trouble.
But it gets worse. People around Trump used their cellphones to light up the table so Trump could read the files. And, as the Times put it, "Phones — especially phones with their flashes turned on for improved visibility — are portable television satellite trucks and, if compromised, can be used to get a great deal of information about what’s happening nearby, unless precautions are taken." And that's assuming none of the people surrounding Trump are compromised themselves. Considering the dangerously close ties of Trump and several of his staff to Russia as well as Russia's penchant for cyber espionage, it's a safe bet that Trump is a walking security risk.
We learned a few weeks ago that Trump made the call on the botched Yemen raid while sitting at dinner with his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon and several security personnel. It was an unseemly display of Trump's casual indifference to the seriousness of his role as commander-in-chief. Now, again, he couldn't be bothered to move to a more secure setting to discuss sensitive information because he's either lazy, arrogant or both.
The only thing more dangerous than a president consumed with arrogance is one also possessed of innate incompetence. Richard Nixon was arrogant and his arrogance brought about his downfall but at least he was competent. Trump, on the other hand, is so lacking in self-awareness that he can't even conceive that anything he does might put the nation's security at risk. He won't even give up his beloved Android phone that, according to a computer scientist at Berkley, "is so easy to compromise, it would not meet the security requirements of a teenager"
The most depressing part of Trump's continued reckless behavior is that Republicans can put a stop to it but won't. At least not until they have the Supreme Court and as much of their agenda pushed through as possible. In their mad scramble for power, they've abdicated all of their responsibility to the welfare of the nation, leaving us at the mercy of an imbecile. Trump is the very definition of the Dunning-Kruger effect and the GOP is enabling him at all costs.
There are 630 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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