We've said this often, but this time it could actually stick: Donald Trump might've just guaranteed his removal from office. A bombshell news story by The Washington Post's Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe revealed that Trump may have spoken about highly classified information regarding the Islamic State (ISIS) to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. The story was independently corroborated by Buzzfeed.
The Post reported:
The information Trump 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 that Trump’s decision to do so risks cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and National Security Agency.
One of the sources for the article noted that the information Trump passed along to the Russians included "code-word information" and that the president "revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies."
While the information isn't specific to any relationship between Trump and the Russians, the very fact that Trump felt at liberty to betray an intelligence partner in order to suck-up to the Russians should speak volumes. Oh, and it's crucial to reiterate that Kislyak has been described by U.S. intelligence officials as a spy and recruiter of spies. It's also crucial to repeat that Carter Page, Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and Jeff Sessions all had secret meetings with Kislyak. Yet Trump allowed this rat into the Oval Office, accompanied by a Russian photographer. Either of the Russians could've easily bugged the office. But they clearly didn't have to, knowing now that Trump went ahead a just gifted them with classified information.
Also, just for the record, here's a Trump tweet about "Crooked Hillary" in which Trump blasts the careless leaking of classified intelligence:
And a few greatest hits from the past few months:
Trump's actions with Lavrov and Kislyak clearly illustrate the nature of Trump's obviously cozy dealings with the Russians. Simply put: Trump was just caught leaking classified materials to a pair of officials with whom Trump is accused of colluding to hijack our democratic institutions.
Naturally, we can expect Trump to tweet something about "fake news" any minute now. I have no idea how he'll wiggle out of this one. Though it's safe to assume that his forthcoming wiggling will only make matters worse for Trump, opening all kinds of new prosecutorial windows.
I'm beginning to wonder whether Trump is deliberately trying to lose his job. He's careened recklessly from being merely incompetent, erratic and dangerous to being flagrantly self-destructive.