Throughout the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump has shown a cavalier attitude towards proper public relations and ethical boundaries. From Twitter wars to having his campaign either explicitly or tacitly (future investigations will answer that question) allowing his campaign to work with foreign powers that have a vested interest in destabilizing the United States, Mr. Trump has never missed an opportunity to fail. This love for jumping off the diving board of ethics and landing orange-creature haired first into a cement slab has not gone unnoticed, with several federal intelligence agencies becoming increasingly concerned that he is a threat to the very government he is supposed to lead.
What is Being Withheld
This is according to a leaked report; however, it matches the general facts on the ground concerning everything else going wrong with the administration. Apparently, the sources and methods used to obtain information are being withheld due to the belief that the White House couldn’t be trusted with a pair of moldy socks, let alone vital national secrets.
Why is the Info Being Withheld?
To put it simply, Trump has a man crush on Putin so hard if he was a Democrat House Republicans would be muttering hypocritical nonsense while trapping interns in airport bathrooms. He is willing to turn a blind eye on illegal military invasions and supporting a crazed dictator – let alone the concentrated effort to put him into the White House. To be frank, if he was President during the Cold War then we might have lost Alaska as a “gesture” of good will.
Why is This (and isn’t) Important
Being able to understand the sources involved in intelligence gathering missions is vital to determine the accuracy of the information and acting upon it. For instance, information provided by a bribed foreign minister will be accurate, but too sensitive to act upon only.
Beyond the information itself, this shows the relationship between the White House and the intelligence community. The last time that soured, we wound up in Iraq and Afghanistan. Considering that his bugbears are Iran and China, both countries with nuclear weapons programs, and either financial clout (China) or a ton of mountainous terrain manned by religious nuts (Iran, North-Western China,) war with either one would be bad for us.
Why Hasn’t the Cabinet Invoked the 25th Amendment Yet
Under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Federal Constitution, the Vice President and the majority of the Cabinet has the ability to declare the President unfit for duty and have him removed from office temporarily, pending Congressional approval. Being unqualified to receive complete security briefings, in addition to refusal to hear the bits he is authorized to hear, shows a clear dereliction of duty on his part.
While this has not been done before in our Nation’s history, the removal under this provision may be the least painful option available. For career Republicans, the alternatives are either a messy Impeachment dragging on for months or a political neutering following the 2018 elections.
What Should Trump Do?
As President, it is his responsibility to cultivate good relationships with the national security apparatus. The problem is entirely self-inflicted and can be treated by simply allowing a complete investigation to root out Russian agents in his team and the expulsion of the highest ranking Russian involved in recent scandal – the ambassador. Doing so will create short-term harm to his non-existent trustworthy ratings and utterly destroy his relationship with Russia, but it shows that he is willing to put national interests above his own.