Donald Trump spent over a year and a half kneecapping Hillary Clinton for supposedly mishandling classified emails on her private email server. But if his behavior since taking office is any indication, he seems to think security concerns are just something in his way. This is a man who continues to use an unsecured and obsolete Android to go on his patented morning Twitter rants. And this is a man who picked a national security adviser with a documented history of playing fast and loose with security procedures.
But on Friday, Trump proved beyond any doubt that all of his talk about handling classified information is nothing more than hot air. He left a key to classified information exposed to people who almost certainly do not have security clearances.
On Friday, Trump invited Intel CEO Brian Krzanich to the White House to tout Intel’s plan to expand production at its factory in Chandler, Arizona. Trump hailed Intel’s planned $7 billion investment into the factory as a major victory for his economic agenda. The factory will create over 13,000 new jobs–3,000 at the factory itself, and 10,000 support jobs.
But that wasn’t the most newsworthy portion of the meeting. Not by a longshot. When Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico saw the story online, he was stunned to discover a golden key to a lockbag containing classified documents was available in plain view of Krzanich and the reporters gathered in the Oval Office. He was alarmed enough to let Trump have it on Twitter.
— Martin Heinrich (@MartinHeinrich) February 10, 2017
In the absence of something we haven’t heard or seen, neither Krzanich nor the reporters have any sort of security clearance. You would have thought that Trump would have thought to hide that key before those without security clearances came into the Oval Office. Apparently he didn’t.
As of yet, there is no evidence that anyone got their hands on that key. But that’s beside the point. There is literally no good-faith explanation for why a key to classified information should ever be out in the open. All of this blathering about emails, and now we have a president who is a thousand times more reckless with classified information than Hillary ever was. It is simply beyond belief.
Heinrich tweeted this out just after 4 pm Eastern on Friday. There has been no response from Trump or anyone else in the White House. And there has been no response from any Republicans on Capitol Hill either. Ordinarily, we could laugh at Trump not going on a 140-character rant about being called out. But this is no laughing matter. This can only be described as reckless disregard for security procedures.
What is equally telling is that there has been no response from any Republicans on Capitol Hill. The hypocrisy burns. The slightest innuendo about Hillary’s emails during the campaign brought chants of “Lock her up! Lock her up!” However, clear evidence of Trump’s disregard for protecting classified information brings radio silence.
This cannot stand. Unless Trump has a very good explanation for this–and I don’t think there is one–it is yet more proof that he does not have the temperament to be president. In a sane world, this picture would end any talk of Trump finishing out his term, let alone running for a second one.
In said sane world, it would also be grounds to at least begin discussion about whether it is time for a 25th Amendment solution. After all, when a president recklessly exposes a key to a classified lockbag to non-cleared people, you at least have to wonder if that president is of sound mind.
(featured image courtesy Heinrich’s Twitter)