The man has no filters.
I've been predicting since the night he was elected (an event I never in a million years imagined would ever occur, having some degree of faith in the ability of the American people to, you know, notice the glaringly obvious things above) that he would resign or be impeached before he could finish his first term. Tonight, that seems more likely than ever.
The Washington Post has run a story, which Reuters has confirmed, that in the course of bragging to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week about how great his intelligence briefings were he revealed information so highly classified that it hasn't even been shared with our allies and which endangers our intelligence sources and capabilities and those of our friends. Even more seriously, the information he revealed is particularly dangerous in the hands of the Russians!
Denials by administration officials, including National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster, were carefully worded to avoid the issue. At no point did they deny that a serious breach of secrecy had occurred. The Post's reporter who covered Gen. McMaster's press conference accused him of playing "word games," and wondered why administration officials placed hurried telephone calls to the CIA and the NSA to contain the damage and asked the Post to agree (which it did) not to reveal details of what the president said to the Russian diplomats on the ground that to do so would "jeopardize important intelligence capabilities" if the information didn't do precisely that when the president handed it to the Russians on a verbal silver platter!
Donald Trump's radical unfitness for the presidency has been glaringly obvious to anyone who didn't let partisanship obliterate his or her good judgment and who was simply paying attention since long before the day he announced his candidacy. I predict that the Republicans in Congress and partisan Republicans, in general, will remain in denial about that fact. But I continue to predict his resignation or impeachment before the 2020 election. A man whose verbal and ethical filters are both as lacking as Donald Trump's simply cannot help but shrivel in the brightest spotlight of all.
For the present, as the Brookings Institution article points out, the president broke no law and did nothing he was not legally entitled to do. But that does not make this any less serious a matter. It absolutely seems to be a violation of his oath of office and by precedent an impeachable offense, whether the partisan Republicans in Congress see fit to recognize it or not. It compromises the confidence of our allies- already rather shaky- in their ability to share intelligence information with the United States in confidence that it won't end up in Russian hands.
And as the Brookings article also points out,
Trump's alleged screw-up reveals yet again what we have learned many times in the last four months: The successful operation of our government assumes a minimally competent Chief Executive that we now lack.
It goes on to point out that literally, any other employee of the Executive Branch would have been fired for what Mr. Trump seems to have done in the Oval Office last week.
And the article in the Post sums it all up:
"It is all kind of shocking, said a former senior U.S. official who is close to current administration officials. "Trump seems to be very reckless and doesn't grasp the gravity of the things he's dealing with, especially when it comes to intelligence and national security."
Which has been as clear as can be to anybody who has ever bothered to pay attention to Donald Trump's personality and character, and has been throughout his entire adult life.
Graphic by DonkeyHotey