The New York Observer, a media outlet that until recently was run by Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, has obtained an exclusive leak from a top National Security Agency (NSA) official.
The source confirms fears that Trump cannot be trusted with state secrets that a president is normally privy to. The NSA official said that the intelligence community has withheld sensitive information about Russia from the Trump Administration due to concerns about possible conflicts of interest regarding U.S.-Russia relations. The source confided that intelligence agents fear that “the Kremlin has ears inside” the highest echelons of the White House.
The uncertainty about Trump’s favorable comments on Russia and Russian attempts to help him win the election has been compounded by the revelation that Trump’s top security adviser, Michael Flynn, had sensitive discussions with a top Russian diplomat. At the end of 2016, then-president Barack Obama slapped more sanctions on Russia as punishment for its meddling in the American election. Flynn was immediately in touch with Kremlin officials to discuss lifting the sanctions soon after Trump took office.
Flynn’s behavior was dangerous and probably illegal because he held no office at the time that would permit him to influence America’s relationship with a foreign power. The Trump Administration cannot be trusted to prioritize America’s interests over anything else while they’re in bed with Vladimir Putin and his cronies.
Russia is a tremendous security threat. Within the last few years it has seized Crimea, created and cultivate a vicious civil war in eastern Ukraine, menacingly flexed its military might at NATO allies surrounding the Baltic sea, interfered with American democracy, committed heinous war crimes in Syria that give jihadists an excellent source of recruiting propaganda and assassinated democracy advocates.
Russia is clearly a terrible choice for a friend. Relations should be kept cordial to avoid unnecessary conflict, but America should not cozy up to war criminal and autocrat Putin. The intelligence community knows this, and the Trump Administration ought to. But the continuous stream of new evidence revealing damning relationships between Trump staff and the Kremlin explains why the Trump Administration keeps feigning ignorance about the mess they are getting the country into. Cronyism is putting our national security at such a high risk that the NSA has to hide sensitive information from the president. That is a terrifying revelation.
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