Is Trump a national security threat?
The Pentagon and U.S. intelligence officials see President Trump “as a national security risk,” said Jonathan Chait. That harrowing little detail was tucked deep into a New York Times story this week on a new cyber-offensive the U.S. has mounted against Russia, in which malware has been inserted in that country’s power grid as a deterrent to another attack on our elections. Trump, the Times reported, “had not been briefed in any detail” on the operation, “for concern over his reaction—and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials.” Think what this means. Despite the Mueller report’s investigation into potential crimes, we still do not know if Moscow has secret “leverage over Trump.” Well into the presidential campaign, Trump continued to negotiate with Russia over a condo tower in Moscow, while publicly denying it; that gave “Russia blackmail leverage over him.” But were there other, even more damaging transactions between Trump and Russia? Trump won’t ever criticize Putin, and has five times met with the Russian dictator “in unusually secret conditions,” refusing to let aides attend and once confiscating a translator’s notes. Our intelligence agencies have good reason to worry about where Trump’s loyalties lie.