Trump reveals state secrets? Ex-CIA officer – „He fits the profile“


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Trump unsecret
Foto: imago images/MediaPunch

From the president to a threat to national security? According to the Washington Post, intelligence experts fear that Trump could reveal US state secrets after his tenure. Donald Trump is still considered the most powerful man in the world. As US President, he has had a great deal of insight into top-secret events over the past four years. These include the US nuclear weapons codes, the development of new weapon systems and confidential talks with foreign governments. Secrets that previous presidents naturally took with them into retirement. No new incumbent had yet to fear that his predecessor might divulge state secrets. But that could also change with Trump: Former and active US secret service employees express their concerns in the Washington Post that President-elect Joe Biden must fear Trump’s secrecy. According to the secret service, Trump fits into the classic profile of counter-espionage risk. He is heavily in debt and angry with the US government. In recent years, Trump has repeatedly poisoned the so-called „Deep State“ in public appearances – a conspiracy theory that suspects a power network behind the government. Trump claims that this „Deep State“ wanted to prevent him as president in 2016, and that after his current election defeat the power network wants to steal his re-election from him. For the intelligence experts questioned by the Washington Post, such statements are a warning signal.

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„Anyone who is angry, dissatisfied or offended runs the risk of divulging secret information, whether as a current or former incumbent. Trump certainly fits into this profile,“ said former CIA officer David Priess of the newspaper. As President, Trump has access to all government classified information and also the power to divulge it – for whatever reason. His term of office ends in a few weeks. But as a former president he will still have access to classified information from his tenure. The only glimmer of hope for the experts is that Trump is not exactly known for an intensive study of files. The correspondent for the AP news agency in the White House writes that, according to official information, Trump has not had any intelligence briefings since October 1. Jack Goldsmith, a former senior government official under George W. Bush, sees some consolation in this: „A knowledgeable and informed president with Trump’s personality traits and such a lack of self-discipline would be a disaster. The only grace that saves him is that he’s not paying attention. „says Goldsmith of the Washington Post.

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Even if Trump didn’t memorize any intelligence details, he almost certainly knows facts about the process of intelligence work – and those would be more than valuable to foreign intelligence agencies. At a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in 2017, Trump showed that he does not necessarily handle such highly sensitive information discreetly. In the Oval Office, Trump is said to have shared top-secret US information with Lavrov and the Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. These are said to have been threats to aviation from the IS terrorist militia. Information Trump received from US allies. With his specific information he is said to have endangered the source. He was similarly negligent in the summer of 2019 when he tried to intimidate his political opponents via social networks. In August 2019, Trump tweeted a detailed aerial view of an Iranian launch pad. Secret services usually prefer to keep such photos to themselves, as they reveal details about their own technical espionage skills. With the information that is now publicly available, some experienced users were able to determine which satellite had taken the image. In the Washington Post report, intelligence experts agree that the greatest risk Trump could pose in retirement is accidental disclosure of information. But they also do not rule out the possibility that he could reveal secrets – perhaps in exchange for favors. Especially if he could ingratiate himself with potential business partners abroad or take revenge on supposed enemies.

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Another motivation could be his financial situation. The debt of his real estate company alone is reported to amount to 900 million euros. The Trump Organization is said to owe Deutsche Bank more than $ 300 million. „People with significant debts are always of great concern to security professionals,“ Larry Pfeiffer, a former CIA chief of staff, told the Washington Post. „People in dire situations make bad decisions. Many people who have espionage against our country have been financially vulnerable.“

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