Trump is turning into a national security nightmarePosted by Jimmy Cooper / February 1, 2019
Before Donald Trump was elected president, Jared Kushner was an investor, a real-estate developer, and a newspaper publisher with no political experience. His FBI background check was complicated and raised red flags for the White House security specialists who were investigating him for top secret security clearance. He was not granted clearance at first, but a Trump official overruled them.
Carl Kline, a former Pentagon employee appointed director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President, approved at least thirty people for top secret security clearance who had been originally denied it.
Now, there have been “grave breaches in national security at the highest levels of the Trump administration” and Democrats are investigating. Two House Democrats––Reps. Don Beyer (Va.) and Ted Lieu (Calif.)––have also called for Kushner’s security clearance to be revoked:”We urge you to immediately revoke the security clearance of Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner, and to comply with past and future oversight requests from Congress related to security clearances, information security, and other matters of national security” This is not the first time the two have done so––they called for revocation of Kushner’s clearance in 2017.
But Kushner is far from Trump’s only problem. He received a stunning rebuke today from the Senate, which warned today against a “precipitous withdrawal” from Syria. The resolution, put forth by Mitch McConnell, advises the administration to conduct a thorough assessment of the risks of withdrawal and to guarantee the permanent defeat of ISIS and al-Qaida. This follows the resignation of several key officials. The Senate is also attempting to block the Saudi government from interfering in Yemen.
To recap, House Democrats are investigating how Kushner got security clearance when he should not have gotten it, Senate Republicans are pushing back on some of Trump’s most significant foreign policy maneuvers, and top officials have resigned in protest of those moves.
It doesn’t end there, though. Trump recently embarrassed himself by criticizing an intelligence report he didn’t read. He then attacked the media for their reporting on his comments. In a series of tweets, he wrote: “The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond. Since ending the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are MUCH different, but……..a source of potential danger and conflict. They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”
It’s difficult to find an example of a president ever having experienced such turmoil in office. While Trump is certainly among the most politically divisive presidents of all time, partisanship does not account for these problems. These are problems of Trump’s own making. After promising that he would choose excellent people, he instead chose compromised people and now there’s been an information leak. After promising to solve worldwide political issues (by the way, Kushy, aren’t you supposed to on that?), he’s been criticized by experts in foreign affairs. After claiming to be the smartest man ever to be president (or whatever he claimed, it’s hard to keep track), he can’t even read intelligence reports.