Something ELSE To Worry About….

Well, I really should apologize: I’ve been on a depressing roll lately!

The problem is, just as I try to focus on good news, and there is good news to find (for example, the NRA just declared bankruptcy) someone gives voice to a danger I hadn’t previously considered and sets my hair on fire.

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed a few days ago, and came across a conversation between a couple of my more politically savvy friends. They were discussing what one of them termed “an interesting point.”

In theory, at least, Donald Trump is in possession of a lot of confidential information about foreign threats and the United States’ security measures to counter them. There is apparently a worry among Intelligence and Homeland Security personnel  that he will reveal highly sensitive information after he leaves office. As the original post noted, “after all, he’s shown he’ll do it while in office.”

Although Trump would undoubtedly sell state secrets if he could monetize them, the danger is amplified by the even more foreseeable possibility that he would disclose classified information inadvertently–that in the course of one of his grandiose, “look at me I’m so important” word-salads, he would blurt out state secrets.

 If, as many lawyers predict, Trump is prosecuted in New York for his financial crimes (a federal pardon is ineffective against state-level criminal convictions) and if, as a result, he is actually imprisoned, it would be totally in character for him to take his revenge by intentionally disclosing classified information.

Evidently, the possibility of such disclosures has become a real worry within the Intelligence Community. As one of the commenters noted, Trump has over $400 million in debt coming due just within the next couple of years. We can all identify the foreign powers–adverse to America– who would be happy to help him pay off that debt. For a quid pro quo.

A column by a former Intelligence official told me something I hadn’t previously known: former presidents are given routine intelligence briefings with access to classified information. These briefings are thought to support a former President’s presumed continued involvement in advancing America’s interests. As the official noted, a “more purposeful decision” should be made about Trump, who she characterizes as “uniquely vulnerable” to” bad actors and ill intent.”

My recommendation, as a 30-plus-year veteran of the intelligence community, is not to provide him any briefings after Jan. 20. With this simple act — which is solely the new president’s prerogative — Joe Biden can mitigate one aspect of the potential national security risk posed by Donald Trump, private citizen.

Since the publication of that column, Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Sen. Angus King (I-ME) — who sit on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, respectively — have publicly urged President-elect Biden to prohibit outgoing President Trump from receiving those briefings.

Anyone who has been watching his behavior over the past four years (and especially the last two months) understands that Trump has no loyalty–zero, zip– to the United States. Actually, he has shown zero loyalty to anything or anyone but himself (and possibly Ivanka).  That, as my Facebook friends noted, makes him a continuing threat to the republic even after he leaves office.

The only mitigating factor I can see is the same one that has saved us from an even worse fate than we have experienced in the presidential term that is mercifully ending–his incompetence. Trump, as he has made painfully obvious, is none too bright. He is also incredibly lazy, thoroughly ignorant of government and how it operates, and has a significantly limited attention span. It is doubtful that he paid much attention during briefings, and even more doubtful that he understood them at the time or can remember them now.

If I were Putin or another one of Trump’s autocrat friends, I think I’d hesitate to bail Trump out in return for information that has a high likelihood of being wrong. But that’s a pretty thin reed on which to rest confidence in America’s security…

What was that book that Rick Wilson wrote? Everything That Trump Touches Dies.

COVID deaths have already been bad enough. Let’s hope millions more Americans aren’t exposed to foreign attacks because Mr. Psychopath couldn’t–or wouldn’t– keep his mouth shut.


  1. “…Trump has over $400 million in debt coming due just within the next couple of years. We can all identify the foreign powers–adverse to America– who would be happy to help him pay off that debt. For a quid pro quo.”

    This is not a new worry for me; he would sell Ivanka if the offer were high enough. But he would sell out this country first; Putin and Kim would rekindle their friendship and love relationship to begin bargaining…but who would make the first bid? Putin, Kim or Trump himself? How do we know those possible negotiations are not already in the works? How do we know they ever ended their friendly and then some relationships? Welcome to my world of conspiracy theory as reality.

    “There is apparently a worry among Intelligence and Homeland Security personnel that he will reveal highly sensitive information after he leaves office.”

    How much sincere worry can there be from those who are Trump’s appointees and supporters who have done his bidding thus far? How do we know Trump hasn’t already revealed highly sensitive information as he sucked up to our enemies; are they waiting till he is safely out of office to act on any knowledge he may have passed on to them?

    We have one change in the history of transition of presidential power; we no longer have to wait until March for the inauguration of the new administration.

  2. Rachel Maddow had a block concerning that topic of security. Why, for example, would Trump appoint his unqualified lackeys to intelligence and security agencies unless he was trying to harvest sellable information?

    Michael Cohen warned the world in the book he wrote in his prison cell that Trump is totally without scruples, a conscience or any morals. And, being that he presents as a raving psychopath, will do just as you fear, Sheila. Our only salvation from the monster selling our secrets so his sorry, orange ass stays out of jail would be from the professional civil servants in those departments that will refuse to give them up to the cockroaches Trump has put in place.

    It is my fever dream that as he and his malign actor wife step off of AF – 1 tomorrow, Federal officers hook him up and cart him off. But, that would have to happen after noon EST. Timing is everything.

  3. Literally just had a conversation with someone about this notion 2 days ago. Glad to know others have considered it. Yet another very concerning possibility in the aftermath of his presidency. Curious, has anyone been calculating in their head how many years (decades) it will take us to recover from it? Yet another depressing thought. Sigh.

  4. Let’s not forget all the loyalists surrounding Trump who had high-level, undeserved security clearances, who may also have an immediate need for more funds. Jared Kushner, anyone?

  5. Trump ignored intelligence briefings, remember? He trusted his gut more than the IC.

    Anyway, his problems are coming from the SDNY where Hillary Clinton can’t help him. Last month, a DeutschBank employee was fired after investigations into Trump’s finances lead them there, and I expect more to come. As far as I know, there has never been a case where one unit of a bank bailed out another unit that was in default with a borrower.

    I can almost say without reasonable doubt that other foreign governments know more about the inner workings of our country than Trump I ever did or ever will.

    Nothing to fear regardless of the Maddow’s of the world. LOL

  6. Consider the fact that this man has spent the four years of his Presidency being the principle threat to our national security. Add to that the fact that he surrounds himself with self-serving toadies without a scintilla of morality. Is there any sane person in the world who would entrust him with secrets? He should never be given a briefing again as long as he lives.

  7. Sellable information?

    Selling or bargaining with state secrets? It doesn’t have to be doesn’t have to be a current secret, something brand-new, the inner workings and abilities are something that enemies of the state would love to have. If the abilities the state has doesn’t match the bluster, it could embolden those enemies to take action as being worth the risk.

    The president would know these things, even if they weren’t specific, they’d be worth more than gold. Sense the Trump administration was in a push to execute those under federal death penalty, maybe that penalty should be absolute when it comes to giving comfort to one’s enemies! And, that the death sentence would be expedited and not drawn out for decades. Kind of like they did with Saddam Hussein when they actually pulled the man’s head off when they hung him.

    As brought out yesterday concerning the back and forth with Terry,

    It’s not hard to see how this all ends up in the long run. John Locke, Joseph Priestley, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and Viscount Bolingbrook, were very well aware of the deceitfulness of organized religion! The dogma that was inserted in worship that had no place in the original church teachings during the time of the apostles! They all agreed, that the belief in a deity and reason could coexist!

    They all had an issue concerning flawed humans with an agenda were writing and controlling organized religion! And because of this, they used specific sections of Scripture while leaving others alone, they were concerned about the lie! And, we can see the manifestation of this today, with the lies organized religion has perpetrated to claim Donald Trump is the son of God and such. Would Christ have embraced Donald Trump? Absolutely not! He ridiculed the religious hierarchy of the Sanhedrin, and the Sanhedrin wrote his death sentence!

    The 5 above-mentioned men, Thomas Jefferson, Viscount Bolingbrook, Thomas Paine, John Locke, and Joseph Priestley warned the melding of religion and politics would be a disaster, as it was a disaster in Europe where religion was involved in every war and every single suffering concerning the population at that time. But the church had absolute control! And this is what they want back! This is why they wanted someone like Donald Trump an office because he was the perfect dupe, all they had to do was appeal to his vanity, and he was all in no matter what. And the lying? Well, organized religion is been lying for so long, it was a perfect match. The only problem with that, is liars eventually turn on each other, and that shoe will be dropping shortly. Just like Dr. Frankenstein was destroyed by his creation!

    You best believe, there’s going to be revelations coming out that these religious groups are even more of a security threat than Trump was! And, looking at the video from the insurrection on January 6, all of those religious fanatics copying privileged documentation not meant for their consumption, saying that they would disseminate this information to whom they felt it would benefit the most. Just like the woman who took the laptop from Nancy Pelosi’s conference area and tried to send it to Russia!

    There is an absolute connection with these religious groups and enemies of the state! And, Donald Trump is right in the middle of all of it. When this shoe drops, it’s going to land with such a loud thud, everyone is going to be stunned by the rapid movement towards dismantling organized religion.

    When you tell someone how special they are, and things are not turning out as they envisioned, they become self aggrieved! And those who are so aggrieved, are likely to lash out any which way to cause pain and agony towards perceived enemies. Donald Trump is self aggrieved, these white religious evangelical nationalists are self aggrieved, and these right-wing media outlets are self aggrieved, they are like an insane jockey on the back of a thoroughbred, whipping that thoroughbred to a lather and riding it right off of a cliff! Maybe as they are sailing through the air, it might not seem like a good idea at that moment, but it seemed like a great idea before that point!

  8. subversive activity;

    Anyone lending aid, comfort, and moral support to individuals, groups, or organizations that advocate the overthrow of incumbent governments by force and violence is subversive and is engaged in subversive activity. All willful acts that are intended to be detrimental to the best interests of the government and that do not fall into the categories of treason, sedition, sabotage, or espionage will be placed in the category of subversive activity. (US DoD)

  9. trump is not the one I fear selling our secrets. I don’t think he is smart enough. Jared Kushner is. And I fear that is already a done deal.

  10. I have been worried about this very issue for some time.
    Frankly, I hope our national security and intelligence agencies monitor him and all of his communications from now to the day he dies.
    He will remain a clear and present danger !!!!

  11. Todd: Be afraid. Very afraid. Maybe Rachel’s way of presenting the news is to make it riveting so we will stay tuned, but that doesn’t mean that she has groundless arguments. My eight years in intelligence (and lifetime association with those in the intelligence community) don’t prove anything, but they did instill an awareness that almost everything the president comes in contact with, every day, has classified elements. Not even a foam-at-the-mouth moron like Trump could fail to remember things like what are the sore points in America’s relations with various countries and NATO? What are the leading edge weapons systems systems currently under development? What goals has DARPA failed to meet? What highly placed persons in government have expressed sympathy with Trump’s world view, including an exploitable sympathy toward Russia? What are America’s leading economic vulnerabilities? Which government employees in high places are most likely to sell their information for personal gain? Are there exploitable jealousies among the Joint Chiefs? Which member of Congress would be willing to monetize the information gained by serving on sensitive committees? Which far right-wing groups are in the best position to assist Russia’s effort to return Trump to power? This list has no end.

    It is likely that Trump’s knowledge of these subjects lacks detail, but he knows enough to be dangerous and to recognize which have cash value. Since he lacks morals and any identifiable personal values beyond self-interest, we need to assume that he will work quickly and diligently to monetize as many as possible. Add to that his apparent financial plight, and it seems probable that Mar-a-Lago will soon become a hotbed of international communications.

    My only solace is that if they choose to do so, thanks to George Bush the Younger, NSA can listen to and record every word entering or leaving the building.

  12. Biden and his people are not idiots! There’s no law mandating the passing of confidential information to former presidents and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that sensitive material is already being ”cloaked.”

  13. There is speculation about the last minute installation of a Trump loyalist in the position as the NSA lawyer. The speculation is that he will be the one to approve a records purge as Trump leaves office.

    It is going to take years to unwind the damage Trump has done, and I suspect these worries are justified.

  14. No question the country has a great deal to recover from, a great deal to worry about, a great deal of catching up to do before we can say the potentially existential mistake of electing the worst possible person in the country to be President is over.

    We did what Americans have, with the exception of 2016, always done. We elected a qualified team of experts to figure out and tell us how to.

  15. None of us will ever forget the scenes of the mob of insurrectionists who stormed the center and symbol of our democracy on January 6, 2021, but we should also never forget that they did more damage to the republic on election day 2016.

  16. Elections have consequences. Like throwing a stone into the middle of a very large pond.
    “Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.” Bette Davis in All About Eve.

  17. Anyone or government that is prosecuting or suing Donald Trump can subpoena the secret service agents that worked in the White House. I suspect that Trump wasn’t smart enough to dismiss the agents when he was talking to friends and colleagues in person or on the phone. If they tell the truth there is a good chance Donald might be the first president to see prison time.

  18. The greatest listener I ever met.

    I went to grade school with him. He was the worst student in my class. When he dropped out of school, he still could not read and write. Math he got, as long as it was connected to money.

    Fifteen years later, he was a multi-millionaire in the highly complex and treacherous field of antiques. How’d he do it? Remember: he couldn’t read and thus could not research his projects.

    Oh but he could ask questions. And since answers to his questions were critical to his decisions, he listened. To quacks and cut-throats and cons, as well as to experts and the disinterested. And he re-asked his questions to different sets of cons and experts until his listening brought forth a consensus — often with multiple substantiation — that he could trust.

    So, what’s the difference between him and the alt-reality crowd we observe now getting everything wrong and failing at its every endeavor? Most of that crowd is far ahead of my guy in reading skills but still get most of their information through word of mouth.

    To me the difference is that my guy was motivated to get it right, whereas the alt-right/alt-fact crowd has no desire to get it right; they are convinced that they can simply make it right with force and intimidation; that nothing ever needs to be right or workable or exact as long as you hold the hammer.

    My guy was anchored to the reality of success or failure, right or wrong, win or lose — repercussions and consequences — and never once convinced himself that pretending success or alleging facts was an acceptable substitute.

    He proved you could winnow facts from myth and truth from lies even if your only filters are common sense and the desire to get it right.

    Your alt-right heroes out there may watch your mouth move, but they have turned off their hearing. And not by accident. They are well along in their attempt at suicide by willful deafness. And if they take the whole country with them, they see plenty more false — let’s pretend — virtues to that possibility.

  19. Back during WW 2 the USA cracked the Japanese Naval Codes. Per WIKI:

    The vulnerability of Japanese naval codes and ciphers was crucial to the conduct of World War II, and had an important influence on foreign relations between Japan and the west in the years leading up to the war as well.

    Every Japanese code was eventually broken, and the intelligence gathered made possible such operations as the victorious American ambush of the Japanese Navy at Midway in 1942 (JN-25b) and the shooting down of Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto a year later in Operation Vengeance.

    Side Bar > The Battle of Midway was the turning point in the Pacific theater of the war. From that point on the USA held the strategic control of when, and where battles in the Pacific would be fought.

    In June 1942 the Chicago Tribune, run by isolationist Col. Robert R. McCormick, published an article implying that the United States had broken the Japanese codes, saying the U.S. Navy knew in advance about the Japanese attack on Midway Island, and published dispositions of the Japanese invasion fleet.

    A grand jury investigation did not result in prosecution but generated further publicity and, according to Walter Winchell, “tossed security out of the window”. Britain’s worst fears about American security were realized.

    The Trumpet and his “Family” may not know exact details on how intelligence was gathered. The fact that they “know it” is a tip off. There is an old WW 2 saying > What You hear, here, When You leave Here, Stays Here. There is another WW 2 saying > Loose Lips, Sinks Ships.

    If anyone has “loose lips” it is The Trumpet.

  20. Who wants to bet, a really brave Donald Trump wouldn’t roll over on his handlers from overseas if he thought it would get him out of prison time? And, the die would be cast for Trump as agents would be swarming like vultures, to soak his tiny balls in Novichok Allah Alex Navalny? along with Rudolph Giuliani and Don jr! And a cast of thousands, lol!

  21. Well, Terry, you start from where you are, and here we are. Biden should end intelligence-sharing with him, of course, and perhaps sic the FBI on to such potential exchanges between Trump, Kushner and Ivanka with China and or Russia with a view toward an Oppenheimer result.

    As to the topic for the day, I blogged on this same topic a few weeks ago and arrived at the same or similar results Sheila did. Per Terry, he will have something to sell, however undetailed, so let’s catch him and/or others we entrusted with the nation’s secrets and our national security at it and treat ourselves to a robust prosecution for, perhaps, treason.

  22. Something to consider: If you’ll remember, James Comey, and many others wrote memos to themselves, to be unearthed at the appropriate time, along with anything that Trump might disagree with. It’s really difficult to hide important papers from the deep, DEEP STATE! Or to shred them all!

  23. To add to your worries (sorry Sheila) – I agree with Holly and Cindy – Jared is a bigger threat
    Now – alleviate your worries some – adults will be in charge and they will watch him like a hawk.

    As for Donald, I have a different take – they will most likely stop all briefings to him — but that is a bad idea.

    Feed him disinformation, monitor him, and when his usefulness as an agent of discord is over, lock him up for life for espionage. Just my two cents on the matter.

    Following up on Monotonous – we learned about the German defenses through broken codes – the Japanese one, courtesy of the Japanese Ambassador who keep sending back coded messages — in the old, broken code.

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