Sue Gordon, the former second in command of National Intelligence, painted a terrifying picture of Trump’s recklessness with classified documents and the consequences thereof.
September 1, 2022

In a fascinating interview with Nicolle Wallace, Gordon chose her words very carefully and gave Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt as much as possible. But not when it came to his stealing of classified material: “There is zero defense,” Gordon said. “There is no justification, there’s no excuse – no defense, zero, from a national security and from a person involved.”

Gordon gave a master class in conveying Trump’s dangerous behavior with intelligence and classified material without revealing anything untoward. She didn’t say she thought Trump may well have sold our national intelligence secrets but it was pretty clear she thought he may well have. But even if he hasn’t, our adversaries probably got hold of the material one way or another.

GORDON: My experience is that the former president has his agenda and he will use whatever is at his disposal to advance that. The problem we have here is that depending on what agenda issues forth, he has had at his disposal for a long period of time information that if he used that information to advance an agenda item, it could have devastating consequence to national security.

But I can't think of a simpler way to say why I think that this moment is so difficult and that’s because there’s no justification and knowing who he is and that he doesn’t fully understand but he may not decide to protect if he wanted to do something different.

This is a tough situation. I am glad that we have worked so hard to recover the information, but I fear that it has been in, essentially, the public domain for a long time.

Gordon also made it clear Trump was always reckless with our national security. Wallace asked if the filings related to the Mar-a-Lago search was the first time Gordon has “seen him as a threat to U.S. national security and the intelligence community?"

Again, Gordon masterfully conveyed Trump’s dangerous behavior without saying so. “Everyone that has access to special information and holds position is a target,” she said. Anyone who doesn’t properly follow the procedures to protect that information “presents a threat, whether it's a purposeful one or whether it's an inadvertent one,” she continued. “So, if you forget that you're a target and you don't follow the rules, you've opened yourself and, consequently, us up.”

In case anyone missed the point, she later said she thought Trump “thought that he was above a lot of rules.”

The likely result? Deliberately or not, Trump has given away our national security secrets to our adversaries.

GORDON: Our adversaries recognize the value of not only individual but what the individual has and especially physical documents. And you always worry, and they are sophisticated services with lots of ways, technical and human, to go after things.

It actually doesn’t even take complicity on the part of the actor in order to provide the opening for that damage, and so when I say this problem of lack of [Trump’s] understanding is especially difficult, it’s because you have to be vigilant and I don’t think that’s a word that we would have ascribed to him from a security perspective.

Even worse than all that is the fact that, as Raw Story pointed out, the National Archives is concerned that Trump still has more stolen documents.

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