Unless I miss my guess, historians of the future will mark the rise and fall of Donald Trump between the bookends of Russian interference in the 2016 election and the desire on Trump’s part to eradicate whatever he could of same after the 2020 election and before he left the White House. Russia started out the smoking gun and nothing has changed except to underscore that fact.
Mark Meadows has previously said that he and Trump worked up until “minutes before” the Biden inauguration to get material declassified — apparently assuming that the minute Joe Biden got in office he would lay waste to whatever he got his hands on because his focus had to be on Trump, right? Not on doing the job he was elected to do, right, because only Trump is important. Again, this is the mind of Trump we are discussing. The man does not live in the real world and he emphatically does not know how government works, or normal people for that matter. Rolling Stone:
According to a person with direct knowledge of the situation and another source briefed on the matter, Trump told several people working in and outside the White House that he was concerned Joe Biden’s incoming administration — or the “Deep State” — would supposedly “shred,” bury, or destroy “the evidence” that Trump was somehow wronged.
Trump’s concern about preserving the Russia-related material is newly relevant after an FBI search turned up a trove of government documents at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
Since the search, Trump has refused to say which classified government papers and top-secret documents he had at Mar-a-Lago and what was the FBI had seized. (Trump considers the documents “mine” and has directed his lawyers to make that widely-panned argument in court.) The feds have publicly released little about the search and its results. It’s unclear if any of the materials in Trump’s document trove are related to Russia or the election interference investigation. A Trump spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
You have heard the term “sources and methods” over and over the past few weeks and you will continue to hear them. Trump has no respect for either protocol or the simple reality that he could get people killed and compromise ongoing intelligence operations by declassifying things too early and for the wrong reasons. He almost fired Gina Haspel at the CIA over it.
A month before the 2020 election, Ratcliffe declassified intelligence detailing how the U.S. had obtained information about “Russian intelligence analysis” on Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The intelligence community, Ratcliffe wrote, couldn’t determine whether the information contained “exaggeration of fabrication.” Both CIA director Gina Haspel and NSA chief Paul Nakasone reportedly opposed the declassification on the grounds that it could reveal how American spies had obtained the information. Indeed, a variety of other officials familiar with the internal debate felt such declassifications could out sensitive sources.
“That document was from a pretty sensitive place that you would know where it was from if you were in Russia,” one former intelligence official tells Rolling Stone about the material released by Ratcliffe. “There were enough clues in there that the Russians could’ve figured it out.”
Again, Trump doesn’t care if he’s handing the keys to the candy store to foreign adversaries. It’s all “what about me?”
Trump never fired Haspel, and the House Intelligence committee’s classified report wasn’t released publicly. But both Trump and Meadows worked up until Biden took the oath of office to declassify information they viewed as beneficial to Trump’s narrative of “Deep State” persecution.
That anybody in the Republican party can even think about wanting to nominate this man for yet another term is unbelievable on these facts. I guess it’s ostrich time for the GOP. And if they are that crooked and that obtuse, then they are no longer a political party.