'Trump's actions are making us all less safe,' according to a 30-year veteran of the CIA.
In an alarming new op-ed published in the Washington Post, former CIA agent Steven Hall warns that Trump's attacks on his own intelligence agencies have gotten so bad that his actions are threatening national security and "making us all less safe."
Hall, a CIA veteran who ran and managed Russian operations for more than 30 years, expressed his concern that Trump's constant public attacks and hostility toward the intelligence community will not only harm morale among the workforce but will also damage America's relationships with allied intelligence agencies.
"Many have already taken note of Trump's cavalier attitude toward sensitive information, as well as his apparent failure to understand the basic rules of intelligence sharing," he wrote. "Recall when our president shared sensitive intelligence obtained from one of our foreign partners with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, for example."
Trump's carelessness and lack of regard for the sensitive nature of classified intelligence "will have a chilling effect" on intelligence sharing, Hall warned, noting that our allies likely fear he will leak sensitive information to Putin.
"I would be deeply surprised if many of our best intelligence allies were not already holding back information they would normally pass to their U.S. counterparts, for fear Trump might not be able to keep a secret," Hall wrote.
"Their concerns might even be darker when they consider the possibility that our president has reportedly discussed sensitive matters with Russian President Vladimir Putin behind closed doors with no record of the conversation," he added.
Hall was referring to recent reports that Trump has withheld details of his previous talks with Putin from top officials in his administration, including confiscating notes from an interpreter who was present during one of the meetings.
This not only limits the capabilities of our intelligence agencies by keeping them in the dark, but it also opens Trump up to the threat of blackmail.
Just last week, a Russian government official leaked details about a secretive meeting between Trump and Putin at the G-20 summit in November.
The details of what was discussed during Trump's many secret meetings with Putin may never be known, but as Hall makes clear, we do know this much: Trump's actions are damaging our relationships with key allies, undermining national security, and making all of us less safe.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.