McMaster has no problem with Trump sharing any information with anyone

The Washington Post reports: H.R. McMaster, the president’s top security adviser, repeatedly described the president’s actions in a press briefing just a day after a Washington Post story revealed that Trump had shared deeply sensitive information with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during an Oval Office meeting last week.

“In the context of that discussion, what the president discussed with the foreign minister was wholly appropriate to that conversation and is consistent with the routine sharing of information between the president and any leaders with whom he’s engaged,” McMaster said. “It is wholly appropriate for the president to share whatever information he thinks is necessary to advance the security of the American people. That’s what he did.”

McMaster refused to confirm whether the information the president shared with the Russians was highly classified. However, because the president has broad authority to declassify information, it is unlikely that his disclosures to the Russians were illegal — as they would have been had just about anyone else in government shared the same secrets. But the classified information he shared with a geopolitical foe was nonetheless explosive, having been provided by a critical U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so delicate that some details were withheld even from top allies and other government officials.

McMaster added that Trump made a spur-of-the-moment decision to share the information in the context of the conversation he was having with the Russian officials. He said that “the president wasn’t even aware of where this information came from” and had not been briefed on the source. [Continue reading…]

One might imagine that the position of national security adviser presupposes that any U.S. president needs sound national security advice.

H.R. McMaster seems to have relinquished that role by judging Trump capable of making any national security judgement on the fly as he sees fit.

McMaster’s circular logic appears to be that whatever Trump does is appropriate for no other reason than that it’s Trump’s choice.

For McMaster, if Trump thinks he’s advancing the security of the American people, then that’s good enough — irrespective of whether that is objectively the case.

Either out of blind loyalty or craven self-interest, McMaster has decided to portray Trump as more like a sovereign than president — Trump’s authority is apparently now above being questioned.

Most strangely and almost as an afterthought, McMaster seems to be suggesting that since Trump was ignorant about the source of the intelligence he spontaneously shared with the Russians, then Trump’s lack of awareness somehow mitigates the harm he just did.

What should by now be painfully obvious is that the notion of Trump being under adult supervision by the likes of McMaster, Tillerson, and Mattis, has and never had any real credibility.

No one with integrity would be willing to work for Trump.

It thus follows that anyone who has accepted such a position lacks integrity.

It further follows that anyone qualified to become director of the FBI should refuse the position, and anyone willing to accept it cannot be qualified.

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Comments

  1. This perfectly captures the paradox that Trump thrives on: to work with him you must be absolutely loyal, which means you have abandoned any sense of ethics or honor, which means that he can discard you at any moment, because you are dishonorable.

    Military types and bureaucrats gain their upright reputations when they follow the rules. When rule-following and honor diverge, they get lost.