After the stunning revelation that President Trump shared top secret Israeli intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, senior White House officials huddled to determine how to deal with the major scandal.
One solution they pursued, a source told Foreign Policy, was to attack President Obama for his handling of classified information, either by launching an investigation or planting stories in the conservative media. The White House denies the plot’s existence.
A second source confirmed the account, corroborating details of the planned allegations. The attack would surround the Department of Homeland Security’s Automated Indicator Sharing program, a mechanism for private companies to share details on potential cyberattackers.
The original source ridiculed the idea of attacking Obama for this program, describing the plot as a “bag of crazy cats.”
Another Homeland Security official laughed at the plot, saying “That doesn’t make sense… It seems ludicrous.”
The absurdity of the planned allegations stem from the nature of the program, which is intended to share information with foreign nations, including adversaries to help prevent cyberattacks that could have global consequences. “There’s certain information out there that’s beneficial for everyone to have,” the official said. “Like, ‘Hey, this Windows program has a bug.’ When we share cybersecurity information with the Russians, we’re protecting their systems, making sure that no one hijacks their planes and missiles.”
Robyn Greene, a policy counsel and government affairs expert at the Open Technology Institute was similarly baffled. “I don’t understand how they can draw the line between Trump sharing code-name information with the Russians and this,” Greene said. “The two are totally unrelated.”
While it seems that it was only a matter of time, this reckless Trump regime plot appears to have blown up in their faces before it could be put into action. Still, it raises two serious concerns.
First, the White House is either so incompetent that it would to level an attack against a former president without knowing that there was no wrong doing, or it is so cocksure about the blind support of Trump followers that it did not care that it was erroneous.
Second, Trump and his lackeys are vengeful to the point of deriding an effective security measure to score political points and stave off a serious scandal.
Of course, neither of these concerns are new. With the lies about Obamacare, wiretapping, the firing of FBI Director James Comey, and the hiring of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, these dangerous and vicious tactics are par for the course.
That this is the new normal may be the most worrisome thing of all.
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com