On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," former CIA officer Phil Mudd explained the threat posed by former President Donald Trump hoarding information about a foreign power's nuclear capabilities at Mar-a-Lago.
If a foreign power were to see these documents, Mudd said, it would be a devastating blow for the United States' basic ability to gather intelligence.
"How serious is it that the FBI reportedly recovered a document about a foreign nation's nuclear capabilities?" asked anchor Wolf Blitzer.
"The first — the basic piece about who had access to this, to that person or those persons knew how to handle classified information and did they do anything with it including talking about the bar with it," said Mudd. "I want to know who gave them access or authorized access. The most significant issue, Wolf, is the sensitivity of the information."
It isn't simply what the U.S. knows about these foreign nuclear secrets that would compromise intelligence gathering, Mudd explained, but what the U.S. doesn't know.
"Forget about the data in the intercept, and I presume some of this is intercept based on the classification," said Mudd. "There is a phrase we use that is sources and methods. If you released this information, the adversary work we're collecting on will understand how we acquired it, through intercepted communications, they can both shut down that channel of information so that we can't collect anymore, and there's a secondary piece. They can see what we cannot collect and what we seem not to know and hoping that the U.S. penetration of the nuclear program is not complete, and it gives a lot of clues to a foreign adversary if this stuff ever gets out, Wolf."
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