Trump did no wrong in Russian dealings, but must exercise more presidential discipline
When it comes to how the liberal mainstream media covers President Donald Trump, facts seem to be eclipsed by unhinged and bitter bias.
Trump has the right to fire anyone in his cabinet for any reason. He also has the right to share intelligence with other nations, including Russia.
The media’s latest hissy fit erupted over a Washington Post report that claimed Trump shared “highly-classified intelligence” about ISIS with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
The intelligence was gathered from a U.S. partner about the threat of the terrorist group using laptop computers to down airplanes, said the story.
Granted, the optics look pretty bad.
The Oval Office meeting with the Russians occurred the day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was conducting an investigation into whether the Trump campaign and Russia colluded in (indirectly) rigging the election.
And the White House allowed only one photographer — a Russian — to attend the meeting.
That’s just not right. Moreover, while Trump may think he’s thumbing his nose at the press, these actions make him look undisciplined.
However, buried beneath the Washington Post’s salacious headline — “Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador” — in paragraph six was this:
“As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law.”
And more facts were buried in the story:
“Russia and the United States both regard the Islamic State as an enemy and share limited information about terrorist threats. But the two nations have competing agendas in Syria, where Moscow has deployed military assets and personnel to support President Bashar al-Assad.”
So, is it really horrifying that Trump, who campaigned on fighting the Islamic State, would try and work with Russia to topple the terrorist organization?
As far as jeopardizing America’s safety, national security advisor H.R. McMaster dismissed the Washington Post report.
“At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly,” said McMaster, who was at the meeting.
What the media appears to be infuriated over is that time and time again, Trump is playing them like a fiddle and defying the odds. From boycotting the White House correspondents’ dinner, to having the audacity to fire Comey, Trump is running a different kind of presidency.
Some aspects of his style are excellent for disrupting Washington’s colossal, entrenched, and institutionally-corrupt bureaucracy. But the real problem with Trump’s latest unconventional action was the flagrant, sloppy way he executed it — and no less on the day after firing Comey for the “Russia thing,” as Trump described it.
Trump needs to take a big gulp of presidential discipline, and start reading the Presidential Daily Brief, prepared by the National Security Council to help guide him through conversations with foreign leaders.
Being president can’t be boiled down to a page of bullets or tweets. Trump would be wise to start doing more homework, and to curb his penchant for veering off script with a foreign leader to chit-chat about his golf game.