Donald Trump made waves today when he was photographed by a Russian news agency while meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Kislyak. The meeting took place in the Oval Office, which begged this question from former National Security Adviser Colin Kahl:
Former Deputy Director of the CIA and Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David S. Cohen, responded plainly:
No, it was not.
— David S. Cohen (@cohendavid) May 10, 2017
Kahl goes on to explain that, when he worked in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, foreign delegations couldn’t bring any AV equipment into his office, and yet – somehow – a foreign government was able to get those same devices into the Oval Office.
Kahl even says that, as National Security Adviser, he had to leave his own equipment outside when visiting the Oval Office, a precaution that obviously does not apply to the Russian government.
Not only was this yet another egregious security lapse on the part of the White House, but a possible national security risk posed by a foreign government proven to be hostile to our democracy. Of course, this hardly comes as a surprise given Trump’s cozy relationship with the Kremlin.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.