He Even *Sounds* Subdued
Today’s White House Press Briefing was billed as a Press “Gaggle” — probably because the powers that be decided against allowing cameras to film the event. Normally a camera-less briefing would be one we wouldn’t experience live. We’d have to wait for the audio to be released or a transcript to be posted. Today, though, MSNBC aired the audio feed live so we could all hear what was going on. Thank you MSNBC! Thank you Katy Tur for pushing for it!
Literally as I was publishing yesterday’s Daily Briefing, news broke that Trump had shared classified information with the Russians — information so sensitive that the Washington Post reporters who broke the story wouldn’t share what it was. Obviously that breaking news report dominated the rest of yesterday’s news cycle and it looks like it’s going to be the focal point of today’s cycle as well. It is so important that this morning NSA McMaster held his own hastily scheduled Press Briefing (which I slept through, sorry).
Here’s why Trump sharing super secret and sensitive information with Russia matters:
- He seemed to decide to share this information on the fly, because he wanted to brag to the Russians about how much stuff he knows.
- Not all classified information is meant to be shared with all high-level officials and whoever shared the information with us (today we’ve learned it was Israel) did not give us permission to share that information with anybody else — and most definitely not an enemy of Israel itself.
The talking heads representing the White House and a lot of GOP Congresspeople are insisting that because Trump didn’t technically do anything illegal, this whole thing is just a stunt cooked up to make Trump look bad. And to that I say:
A) Trump makes himself look bad on a daily basis all by himself.
B) Seriously GOP, get your shit together. If this were literally anybody else, you’d be calling for heads on spikes. Stop being such sycophantic babies and do your damn jobs already.
As some have pointed out, sharing classified information between heads of state is something that is done fairly regularly. The difference between those times and this is that pre-Trump whoever was sharing the info would make darn sure that whoever sourced the info was okay with it being shared and that it was shared in a manner that wouldn’t put the source or our country at increased risk.
Bragging in the spur of the moment because you want the Russians to think you’re a tough guy (which went out the window as soon as you agreed to Putin’s instructions, er, request, to host his diplomats in the Oval F*cking Office) literally puts our country and its citizens all over the world at risk. Already security allies are going on record saying they’re not going to share intel with us anymore because they do not trust that it won’t be leaked to an adversary. When we’re kept out of the loop, we can’t take steps to protect ourselves, let alone protect anybody else.
Security officials are also now forced to decide whether or not to try and assuage allies’ fears by promising to not share sensitive information with the President of the United States. How messed up is that? To have our own security professionals forced to say “please please keep working with us. We promise we won’t tell him anything anymore,”? Obviously Trump’s not a great leader but he is still the guy in charge and keeping the guy in charge in the dark makes us look really really bad.
With all of the huge breaking news scandals over the last week, it’s no wonder that even just in audio, Sean Spicer sounds like he could really use a hug.
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