Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 7:53 AM

Trump Sharing Classified Info with Russians Forces McMaster to Spicer Himself

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

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.

(Washington Post, May 15, 2017)

Frankly, nobody should be surprised that Trump revealed this information as he was boasting recklessly (i.e., going off script) about the “great intelligence” he has on ISIS. Mind you, he got this intelligence from the same intelligence community (IC) he spent his entire presidential campaign ridiculing as inept – continually reminding the world of their mistaken claims about WMDs in Iraq.

Moreover, nobody should be surprised if or when he does something like this again, perhaps with even deadlier consequences. Which is why, in the interest of national security, it behooves the IC to think twice about briefing this congenital fool on highly classified information.

That said, it is becoming as certain as night follows day that everyone who works for the Trump presidency will end up a laughing stock – eminently worthy of being lampooned on Saturday Night Live.

No doubt you recall the lying fool White House Spokesman Sean Spicer made of himself the day after Inauguration Day. That’s when he wasted his first press conference trying to convince the world that the size of the crowd at Trump’s Inauguration was bigger than the crowd at Obama’s. This, despite pictures everywhere outside the White House showing the opposite.

And, practically every day since then, one or another of Trump’s surrogates has made a fool of himself or herself in similar fashion – none more notoriously so than his counselor Kellyanne Conway.

Now comes Lt. Gen. McMaster, reputably the “Army’s smartest officer,” trying to convince the world that the classified information Trump revealed was no big deal.

White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster just emerged from the White House to declare that The Washington Post’s story about Trump giving highly classified information to Russia ‘as reported, is false.’

But the rest of McMaster’s statement made clear he wasn’t actually denying the report. And his entire brief statement — punctuated by McMaster walking away without taking shouted questions — speaks volumes.

(Washington Post, May 15, 2017)

Not to mention that McMaster knows full well that, immediately following that meeting with the Russians, White House staffers rushed to clean up the mess Trump created. This involved alerting relevant members of the IC that the highly classified information at issue had been compromised.

Of course, McMaster’s “non-denial denial” was damning enough. But it speaks even greater volumes that he emulated Spicer by fleeing his press conference without taking a single question from the press. As it was with Spicer (after his fateful post-Inauguration press conference), I fear it will be all downhill for McMaster’s character and credibility from this day forward.

Despite my informed cynicism, I never imagined this celebrated Army officer would be guilty of this kind of Dereliction of Duty.

NOTE: I cannot overstate how stupefying it is that so many people have been so willing to sacrifice their personal integrity and professional reputation at the altar of Trump’s ego. This has been one of the more incomprehensible travesties of the Trump phenomenon.

God help them … us.

Related commentaries:
Russians dupe Trump

* This commentary was originally published yesterday, Monday, at 8:37 p.m.

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