February 14, 2017
It is possible to be outraged over the situation in Washington. If you feel that way, the fact is you are not alone. Just four weeks into his administration, we now have a presidency in chaos. Those who followed the 2016 campaign remember how then candidate Trump, portrayed himself as the best manager and savvy businessman on a mission to “drain the swamp.” The reality today is that the swamp is far from being drained but instead filled with alligators.
The cabinet picks and advisers around the President, show the swamp is not draining soon. The management skill is missing and it is fair to conclude that officials lacking discipline and experience are running government affairs. Since the President’s inauguration it is one issue over another, making it impossible for the Trump administration to govern and manage the nation’s affairs.
Latest among the chaos in Washington is the resignation of Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn. Flynn quit late Monday as pressure mounted over revelations he misled Vice President Mike Pence on whether he discussed US sanctions with Russian ambassador to the US before the inauguration. Flynn initially denied ever discussing sanctions but later walked back his statements after media sources revealed otherwise.
The atmosphere in the White House and the President’s actions so far, is making members of the intelligence community to second-guess their trust of the President. One of the weirdest occasions happened this weekend during a state visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. On receiving information that North Korea just tested a ballistic missile, President Trump remained at the dinner table with intelligence documents, while surrounded by guests taking photos.
The fact that an American President would discuss a sensitive issue like North Korea at Ma-a-Lago over cocktails and appetizers sent shockwaves within the intelligence agencies. Some Republican and Democratic lawmakers quickly called the President’s conduct unprofessional. Michael J. Morell, a former acting C.I.A. director under President Obama, said, “Every President with whom I have worked would have gone to a private room to have what was potentially a classified discussion.”
With that in mind, major US intelligence agencies are now skeptical about President Trump’s handling of sensitive information. The C.I.A, the NSA and the National Security Council, are reportedly holding back from the President critical information pertaining to US national security. The agencies are troubled by the President’s judgment and his ability to manage sensitive documents on state secrets.
Flynn’s connections to Russia and the latest controversy, is making some in the intelligence community to believe he is compromised and therefore, vulnerable to future blackmails by Russia. The possibility that the Situation Room is infiltrated because of Flynn’s link to Moscow is also making the intelligence agencies skeptical about sharing sensitive information with the President.
Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is an expert in general law, foreign relations and the United Nations. He is the author of ‘Wills Law and Contests,’ ‘Constitutional Law-First Amendment,’ ‘Criminal Law-Homicide’ and ‘SAVING LOVE’ available on Amazon. Follow on Twitter @san0670.