"He has no filter; it’s in one ear and out the mouth.”
The president says that he had the "absolute right" to share classified information with the Russian ambassador and Foreign Minister. And guess what? He's right!
But that's not the point. It's a distinction many people in our society have trouble with, but just because you have a legal right to do something in the abstract doesn't mean that you have the moral right to do it in every possible situation! The president has complete authority to declassify information. But whether he has the legal authority to do so or not, he has no right to violate his oath of office by sharing information damaging to our national security with an unfriendly country in a position to exploit it to the harm of our interests or those of a friendly nation. And by constitutional precedent, a serious violation of an oath of office is grounds for impeachment even if no law was broken in the process.
U.S. intelligence officials told the Washington Post that the information the president blurted out to the Russians included the name of a location which could be used by the Russians to compromise intelligence assets of the United States or an ally, thereby jeopardizing "a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State."
Intelligence officials say that the ally which supplied the information Mr. Trump volunteered is located in the Middle East, and they described our relationship with that ally as "close." Bragging is Mr. Trump's favorite sport, and his lack of filters seems in this case to have rendered it an expensive one to our national interests. White House officials immediately called the CIA and the NSA, which have routine relations with friendly intelligence services, to warn them about the breach, and then asked the Washington Post, which broke the story, not to publish the details of what the president had told two senior Russian diplomats because it would damage national security if it became public knowledge. The Post complied. And that certainly sounds like a violation of the president's oath of office.
An aside: you may recall which the daily intelligence briefings he bragged about were dismissed by Mr. Trump as "unnecessary" during the campaign because he is "smart."
Another aside: you may remember Trump's harsh criticism of Hillary Clinton for compromising national security by storing classified emails on a private server. No evidence has yet arisen that anything on those servers represented a breach of security even close to being as serious as the information Mr. Trump seems to have impulsively blurted out directly to Russian diplomats. Yet predictably, the Hivemind is responding to criticism of Trump by reminding us, as is their custom, that Hillary was naughty, too- as if this were an excuse!
The reason why I was so dead set against Donald Trump becoming president even if the only realistic alternative was someone as awful as Hillary Clinton is becoming clearer every day, even if a great many people continue in denial. He is in way, way over his head. He's not merely a little man in a big job, but he's an immature one with poor judgment and an ego and penchant for bragging which seems incompatible with his being privy to national secrets.
And he knows all of them. All of them. And there is no telling which of them he may blurt out at any moment. Or to whom.