Complaints over Trump’s security practices have piled up since the start of his presidency, with the furor peaking Saturday when Trump took a phone call about a North Korean missile test while sitting in full view of the guests at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
Trump staffers later that night pored over government documents with cellphone flashlights, a potential security risk as the mobile devices can be hacked to transmit video and images to prying eyes.
And a Mar-a-Lago visitor posted a photo — later deleted — to Facebook that featured and gave a first name for a U.S. military official responsible for holding the black bag containing the country’s nuclear launch codes.
Before this weekend, critics were already raising red flags over Trump tweeting via what’s reportedly an unsecured Android cellphone, a habit that could potentially expose the president to personal tracking — which could even determine where he physically is in a building — or give hackers an entry point into other parts of his phone.
And last week, Trump left a “lockbag” — a secure pouch for transferring intergovernment information that requires restricted access but don’t meet the threshold for classified material — with the key in it sitting on his desk as the press snapped photos of him.
The deviations from standard protocol have Democrats particularly livid after Hillary Clinton’s email practices played a role in undermining her campaign — and were a subject of ongoing inquiry by the FBI. Trump himself continually ripped Clinton over her email arrangement, claiming it was criminal, disqualifying for the presidency and likely exposed state secrets to foreign hackers.
Also, US intelligence believes that, because the Trump campaign was probably compromised by Russia, the Russians probably now have ears inside the White House's famous Situation Room:
Robert Reich, on Facebook, wrote:Disturbing news this morning about how much “truth” about the rest of the world is getting to Trump.
1. The Observer reports that the U.S. intelligence community is so convinced that Trump and his administration has been compromised by Russia that they are no longer giving the White House all of their most sensitive information, lest it end up in Putin's hands. A senior National Security Agency official explained that the National Security Agency was systematically holding back some of the “good stuff” from the White House, fearing Trump and his staff cannot keep secrets.
2. The intelligence community is concerned that even the Situation Room – the conference room in the West Wing where the president and his top staffers get intelligence briefings -- has been compromised by Russia. A senior Pentagon intelligence official stated that “since January 20, we’ve assumed that the Kremlin has ears inside the SITROOM. There’s not much the Russians don’t know at this point,” the official added in frustration.
3. The New York Times reports “chaotic and anxious days inside the National Security Council.” Council staff get up in the morning, read Trump’s tweets, and struggle to make policy to fit them. Most are kept in the dark about what Trump tells foreign leaders in his phone calls. Some staff members have turned to encrypted communications to talk with their colleagues, after hearing that Mr. Trump’s top advisers are considering an “insider threat” program that could result in monitoring their cellphones and emails for leaks.
4. National security adviser Michael T. Flynn has hunkered down since investigators began looking into what, exactly, he told the Russian ambassador to the United States about the lifting of sanctions imposed in the last days of the Obama administration, and whether he misled Vice President Mike Pence about those conversations. His survival in the job may hang in the balance.
Bottom line: U.S. foreign policy is now in the hands of a man with a severe personality disorder, who is not getting the information a president needs about the rest of the world. If that doesn’t worry you, nothing will.
captain red dog wrote:The leaks are now so bad that I think Trump needs to shut everything down until he figures out what the hell is going on.
Yeah, but then we won't hear about brooding Trump wandering the White House's deserted halls at night in his bathrobe. This is vital information.
These are the kinds of weird facts that will be remembered in history classes in about 100 years! Incredible really, Trump has done enough in the last year to be almost as infamous in history as someone like Henry VIII.
Decades, maybe centuries from now, students will have to answer exam questions like: "Explain the social and media forces that lead to the election of Donald Trump in 2016." Then they will have to explain WTF people were thinking.