We now have testimony that President Trump is a major threat to our security. In Kiev on July 26 2019, Gordon Sondland, in an outdoor café, discussed classified information with Trump using his insecure cellphone. This came a day after Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he pressured Zelensky to investigate the Bidens. We know about the Sondland call from the testimony of David Holmes, the political counsel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, that he was at the restaurant in Kiev—a public place where anyone might have overheard the conversation—on July 26 when Sondland spoke to Trump over the phone.
All of us who, as government employees, have worked with classified information, are trained never to mention anything classified outside secured spaces or on an unsecured telephone. The same applies to email and internet chatter. We already knew that Trump gave Vladimir Putin a highly classified document during a discussion sometime ago. I wonder how many other security violations Trump may have committed.
Those not familiar with the government’s classification system may not understand the seriousness of this issue. Intelligence is the eyes and ears of our government. It allows us to know what our adversaries are doing and sometimes what they plan to do. To the degree that the intelligence we hold, all of it classified, is revealed to our intelligence targets, to that same degree we lose the ability to know what are our adversaries are doing. A major source of information is monitoring telephones and especially cellphones. Those surveilled can easily block the surveillance once they know it is going on. That puts us in great danger.
We already knew that Trump dislikes the U.S. intelligence establishment because it revealed in detail Russia’s effort to get Trump elected in 2016. I have expressed my concerns in this blog about what Trump may have done to intelligence in retaliation for its reporting of the truth. Since all actions by intelligence agencies are classified, we may never know what damage Trump has inflicted. All of us will suffer for the loss.