The defining characteristics of the Trump administration put the U.S. at risk for another 9/11-scale terrorist attack.
President Donald Trump was elected with no political or governmental experience, and his tenure so far has been defined by White House chaos, atrophied agencies and foreign entanglements — all of which pose national security risks, reported The Atlantic.
1. White House turmoil keeps the president’s closest advisors from gaining crucial experience, which is measured in days on the job. The chaos also drains morale and keeps the most qualified candidates from applying from the frequent openings.”Many dignified people have simply refused to consider working for him,” writes the magazine’s Conor Friedersdorf.
2. Rex Tillerson’s State Department has been unwilling or unable to fill many key positions, especially at the undersecretary level. This keeps the Trump administration from conducting much diplomatic work, and many veteran staffers with years of country-specific expertise have left the Cabinet agency — and they often aren’t even replaced. The department is so understaffed that White House officials aren’t sure who to call there.
3. Political turmoil left the U.S. highly vulnerable to Russian efforts to influence the presidential election, possibly in coordination with the Trump campaign. A recent Fox News poll found 56 percent of Americans believe the president is “tearing the country apart.” Polls consistently find Americans lack basic trust in news organizations, which is further encouraged by Trump’s complaints about “fake news.” This puts the U.S. at risk for further disinformation campaigns, and could hinder recovery from potential terrorist violence.
4. The Trump administration has hobbled efforts to fight domestic terrorism, the most common form in the U.S., to narrow its focus to exclusively root out Islamic extremism. A top White House counterterrorism adviser questioned the existence of right-wing terrorism just days before a neo-Nazi killed a woman during a white supremacist rally, and right-wing extremists felt emboldened by the president’s moral equivocation afterward.
5. The Trump Organization’s overseas business holdings present constitutional issues, and the company’s foreign investments pose a potential national security risk, as well. It’s nearly impossible for congressional oversight to determine where the Trump family’s overseas investments diverge from American interests — as the Russia investigation has shown — and properties bearing the president’s name are targets for terrorists all over the world, including the U.S.