Former intelligence community leaders blasted Donald Trump over reports the president revealed highly classified information to the Russian ambassador and Russian foreign minister during a meeting last week, with one Bush-era official calling it potential “treason.”
Monday night, the Washington Post reported that Trump divulged classified intelligence during an Oval Office meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The information reportedly pertained to the Islamic State, and included identifying details, including the territory in which the intel was collected.
Despite a series of denials from the White House Monday about that Washington Post report, the president on Tuesday all-but-verified that he divulged information to those Russian officials, insisting in a tweet that he wanted “to share with Russia… facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety.”
Eliot Cohen, who worked in the State Department under George Bush, called the report “appalling,” insisting “it would be a firing offense for anyone else” besides Trump.
“If deliberate, it would be treason,” Cohen added.
Wayne White, a senior Bush-era intelligence officer, argued the president crossed a “red line” with his disclosure.
“There are red lines that even presidents are not supposed to be crossing,” White told Politico. “He has to be protecting his own assets. It is really frightening for our people, especially the people who managed the relationship in getting the information.”
“It is another indication that you cannot possibly control this guy,” White noted.
Steve Aftergood, who works for the Federation of American Scientists, called the president’s behavior “reckless and thoughtless.”
“It is not a legal issue. It is a question of competence and national security awareness. If the story is accurate the president fell short in those vital areas,” Aftergood said.
Trump’s racism is ‘disqualifying’ for him to remain as president: former White House lawyer
Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained on MSNBC on Thursday why he viewed President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four women of color in Congress as disqualifying.
Anchor Brian Williams read a quote from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.
"Half of the country is appalled but not really sure how to combat him; the other half is cheering, or at least averting its gaze. This is what a political civil war looks like, with words, for now, as weapons," Glasser wrote.
Lawrence O’Donnell reports on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump
Anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump during Thursday evening's "The Last Word" on MSNBC.
"The House of Representatives conducted a symbolic vote on a hastily written impeachment resolution by Democratic Congressman Al Green in reaction to the president’s tweeted comments that the House of Representatives voted to condemn as racist," O'Donnell reported. "The impeachment resolution had nothing to do with the [Robert] Mueller investigation and referred only to the president being unfit for office because of the language that he has used recently about members of Congress and immigrants and asylum seekers."
Video proves how far the Trump’s GOP has gone from the era of Ronald Reagan and HW Bush
The immigration policies of Donald Trump’s presidency would have no room for his GOP predecessors Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush—who both embraced work visas, family unification, easy border crossings and a better relationship with Mexico.
That counterpoint can be seen in a very short video clip from the 1980 presidential election where Reagan and Bush—who became Reagan’s vice president for two terms before winning the presidency in 1988—were asked about immigration at a campaign debate in Texas. Their responses show just how far to the right the Republican Party’s current leader, President Trump, and voters who have not left the GOP to become self-described political independents, have moved on immigration.