In “Shocking” Move, Trump Gives Highly Classified ISIS Intel To Russians

So a couple of days ago we explained, by way of a short story about Dresden ca. 1989, why it’s a really – really – bad idea for Donald Trump to be commiserating with the Kremlin (well, first of all it’s treason, but even above and beyond that).

You’re encouraged to read the entire post, but for those who missed it, here’s a quick recap:

Everyone loves to make jokes about the ridiculous images you can find on Google of Putin firing guns, riding horses shirtless in the wilderness, body slamming people, etc., but amid the hilarity, it’s important to remember that this motherfucker is anything but a joke. 

Remember, Putin was just 36 years old when, in 1989, he single-handedly saved the Dresden KGB office from an angry mob. First he burned the office’s important files and then, according to legend, he walked out the front door and pointed a pistol at the crowd while calmly explaining that the first motherfucker who tried to ransack the building was gettin’ shot.

So that’s why people who actually know anything about foreign policy think this is such a precarious situation. You’ve got a complete buffoon that was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and went on to become a reality TV show host trying to collude with a guy who basically pulled an “Enzo The Baker” as the Berlin wall fell, only instead of pretending to have a gun and guarding one man in a hospital against 4 mobsters, “Enzo The Russian” actually had a gun and he was guarding a KGB office full of sensitive information against a rioting mob of East Germans.

How do you imagine the silver spoon/ reality TV show host is going to get treated in that arrangement?

The point there is simple: Donald Trump is way out of his league.

Really, there aren’t a whole lot of heads of state that aren’t out of their league when it comes to dealing with the Kremlin, but with Trump, it’s the worst possible scenario. Here’s a complete government neophyte who also isn’t very smart and then on top of it all, he’s either i) being extorted, or ii) genuinely thinks Moscow likes him. It’s not really clear which of those possibilities is worse, but needless to say, neither of them bode well for national security.

So the article from which the excerpted passages cited above are pulled highlighted the fact that Trump, at the request of Putin, met with Sergei Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak at the White House just hours after firing the FBI Director in charge of investigating the administration’s ties to Moscow.

Clearly, the optics around that were terrible, but either Trump didn’t give a shit, Putin insisted on it so Trump didn’t have a choice or, more likely, both. The end result was this rather disconcerting photo op that Russia, supposedly to the dismay of the White House, plastered all over social media:

Russia3

Again, that was taken just hours after Trump fired Comey. You’re also reminded that Sergei Lavrov (left) lampooned Comey’s firing in a presser with Rex Tillerson that took place just before the picture shown above was taken.

Well just when you thought that story couldn’t possibly get any worse, it did.

Here’s WaPo out Monday evening:

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.

For almost anyone in government, discussing such matters with an adversary would be illegal. As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law.

“The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who participated in the meeting. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”

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.

Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States learned only through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence-gathering method, but he described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat.

The Washington Post is withholding most plot details, including the name of the city, at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities.

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.

One of Bossert’s subordinates also called for the problematic portion of Trump’s discussion to be stricken from internal memos and for the full transcript to be limited to a small circle of recipients, efforts to prevent sensitive details from being disseminated further or leaked.

[…]

U.S. officials said that the National Security Council continues to prepare multi-page briefings for Trump to guide him through conversations with foreign leaders, but that he has insisted that the guidance be distilled to a single page of bullet points — and often ignores those.

“He seems to get in the room or on the phone and just goes with it, and that has big downsides,” the second former official said. “Does he understand what’s classified and what’s not? That’s what worries me.”

So while that’s obviously horrible, it’s also hilarious.

Because think about it…

There’s really no telling whether Lavrov and Kislyak had to coax this out of him or whether they both just sat back and kind of looked at each other in disbelief as Trump inexplicably volunteered sensitive information.

Ultimately this, like so many other Trump/Russia stories, can be summed up with one short clip…

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8 thoughts on “In “Shocking” Move, Trump Gives Highly Classified ISIS Intel To Russians

  1. …..what’s it gonna take for action to remove him is taken, seriously? Do people need to die for this moron to be removed? Quit making excuses, like I heard this one…. “the President can de-classify classified information” – NOT in the manner he did! There are procedures and they do not include it is ok for him to de-classify while just kicking it with his Russian friends, bragging about crap!

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  2. Shocking? Nah, typical cluelessness by our douchebag-in-chief.
    Who’s running the pool for when he’s impeached?

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      • The house Republicans are too far up Trump’s a$$ to impeach him. Just like with Nixon, it will have to come from the voters. They will have to make it VERY clear that republicans that continue to ignore the Donald’s treasonous actions will be out of a job the first chance the voters get.

        Sadly, half of America is too ignorant to even understand what the Donald is doing to America. America seems able to withstand an inhumane amount of global humiliation.

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  3. Republicans are going to become more convinced with each of his F ups and the voters are doing a great job of telling them already and with more of his F ups, the more voters are piling it on. Another big factor, I would estimate a lot less than half are too ignorant – clearly a majority of all voters were against him more than they were for her and once again, the ones who were against him then are even more against him now and some of those that just held their nose and voted for him were never for him at all. This will even get to be more fun when Comey testifies. The world is keenly aware we hate Trump and at this point they are starting to feel sorry for us. I hate that too! Donnie doofus cannot stand that he is not worshiped and is challenged every day — never had to deal with being told NO and is just plain stupid to sum it up…..he will collapse under the pressure. Then we will have to make sure Pense does a much better job. sigh….

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  4. Trump doing exactly what individual of his education, training, demonstrated intellectual, and moral caliber and background is expected to do when suddenly thrust in the position he’s in – one catastrophic mistake after another. Get over it. His lack of appropriate training and experience for being President of a nation was obvious since before he announced he would run for President. Only the deliriously hopeful and pathetically uninformed ever thought this might turn out well.

    However, as a frequent flyer that has had too many delays and too many adherences to obviously incompetent security protocols and their implementation by poorly trained staff at airports and considering the billions of dollars and the trillions of man hours we have wasted on airport security and explosive detection devices – I have to ask why aren’t we safe from laptops or any other methods of carrying explosives in carry-on baggage? Either Homeland Security has been pissing away all those contracts for the detection technology and devices, or there is another agenda behind not taking your laptop on a plane. Clearly, if we can’t detect an explosive in a functioning laptop, we sure as hell aren’t going to detect it in cargo hole baggage either.

    As a frequent flyer and even more so as a tax payer, I call foul. We aren’t getting the security competence that our tax dollars have paid for over and over. It isn’t just Trump’s competence that concerns me, it’s the entire senior political leadership of the country. Who ever thought a $7B televised beauty pageant could produce competent performance based leader selection process – much less a minimal semblance of democracy. As citizens we’re being continually milked by increased taxes that are progressively wasted in greater quantities each year. We’re farmed like cattle by our government (and loaded like cattle by the airline industry) and insulted by the processes and decisions of our government “senior executives” that clearly indicate by their lack of competent performance abilities. You could can find better management and leadership at your local convenience store than our current political leadership – and probably individuals that care more about the betterment of their country those our current political processes produce.

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  5. The White House claims that Trump fired Michael Flynn because Flynn lied about discussing Russian sanctions with Kislyak. Trump invites Kislyak to the White House and shares classified intel with him, for no apparent reason, the day after Trump fires Comey because of the Russia investigation. Unbelievable.

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  6. Ok, a couple more thoughts. Fritzl, “they” say Flynn was fired for lying to the V President about receiving $ that he says he did not recall…..yeah, sure. Flynn wants immunity for testimony because he knows he will hang for treason if he admits collusion with Russia etc. That’s why he says he will take the 5th. He is corrupt and Trump continues to tell us Flynn is a great man.

    Dugger, there is little I can disagree with in your comment. Absolutely ridiculous and crappy performance for airport security. And yes the personnel who operate the airplanes and direct contact with the flying public are rude and obnoxious. The morons who elected this swamp thing to office did so for separate reasons. One group just wanted things to be changed and be better and get a grip on the waste of tax dollars being spent without getting improved results – thought maybe a non-politician would be the road to fixin’ all that. No thought to one non-politician thrown into a tank of nothing but politicians……a guppy into the pool of sharks. He has no chance of success UNLESS he has a clear head, knowledge of economics, and as any kid in school is judged, to work and play well with others. Uh, Fail.

    The other group walks on their knuckles, burps in public, scratches where it itches, carries a torch to a meeting in the woods, takes whatever he can get his hands on, bullies and beats up the lesser man, did not listen when Aretha spelled R E S P E C T, extreme womanizer and racist….as Trump himself made very clear in words and actions (!) during his campaign. Those are the ones who show up at his rallies and chant his hateful messages while he yells “shut ’em up, get ’em outta here” from his podium under the bright lights, grinning from red ear to red ear. I believe the current count of those people is about 30%.

    So that leaves all the rest to pay more attention to those elected to office – don’t just pull the R lever or the D lever! A better balance in our government is 100% in our hands. When you see and know the head of a company or department, political or private business, is not doing the job right and is therefore wasting our hard earned tax dollars, make it known you expect performance to match their f’n paychecks! We want this mess cleaned up and changed for the better….. that will not just automatically happen especially if the same empty suits stay in power.

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