Donald Trump To Start Getting CIA Security Briefings. That Should Be Fun!
I can has nuclear launch codes now?
So here's a fun fact: Once Donald Trump is officially declared the Republican nominee for president at July's Republican National Convention, he'll start getting classified intelligence briefings from the CIA. When Chris Hayes mentioned that little detail of the campaign process, he added, "Just let that sink in for a moment." Yeah, sorry, we should have warned you to have an emergency defibrillator nearby.
Or as Rachel Maddow put it Wednesday:
Yesterday he was accusing Ted Cruz’s dad of being in on the JFK assassination. Now, he’s about to start getting classified CIA briefings as the Republican Party’s nominee for president.
What could possibly go wrong? After all, if the voters have decided he's ready to be president, then obviously he's ready to get all the information a well-informed presidential candidate will need to be able to make good decisions. Heaven knows, Trump has already proven his ability to read generalizations about foreign policy from a teleprompter, so he should be just fine. Plus, he might learn how to pronounce some countries' names. Besides, as a Very Rich Billionaire, he knows how to handle sensitive information -- there's probably all sorts of important Big Billionaire Secrets that he's been privy to when he was making all those yooge deals which only ended in a few corporate bankruptcies.
Oh, sure, there are some naysayers who worry there might be something a little questionable about giving national security information to a man given to blurting out whatever stray thoughts come into his weirdly coifed head. Josh Marshall from Talking Points Memo tweeted an amusing fact about Trump's new campaign guru, Paul Manafort:
Honestly, no one needs to worry about that. Just because Manafort has repped a few dictators and oligarchs shouldn't bother anyone. Stop being so paranoid. And you certainly shouldn't lose any sleep over this purely hypothetical question from MaddowBlog editor Steve Benen:
What would Trump do, for example, if the CIA told him that his anti-Muslim rhetoric was creating a national security threat?
Duh, he'd get tougher on Muslims, and we'd win bigly. We don't win anymore, and part of the reason is that we don't act on our secret information to wipe out ISIS and take their oil. Then, once he's elected, Trump can find out who the rats in the CIA were who said those nasty things about him and get them fired. Or at least unleash the IRS on them. Also, if he does become president, he'll be at the top of the intelligence food chain, and can make decisions about what's classified or not. And as The Guardian cheerfully reminds us, "Trump could, theoretically, pardon himself for any legal action taken if he actually wins."
Then of course there are the exciting prospects for Trump interviews and debates -- even if he manages not to blurt out secrets from his briefings, he already has a habit of telling crowds insane shit that simply isn't true, assuring them it's from Top Sources. Once he actually has access to genuine secrets, we won't know whether his "informed sources" are Alex Jones or the spooks from Fairfax. Not that Trumpers worry too much about sources anyway. Since everyone already assumes he's full of shit, our enemies will never know whether he's spouting nonsense or real secrets -- it's a brilliant variation on Nixon's "Madman Theory" strategy. And if he accidentally does reveal something classified, Trump can always scream at Hillary Clinton for endangering America with her private email server.
Ultimately, there's probably nothing to worry about. If you need proof Donald Trump can keep a secret, just look at the history of his scammy real estate seminars, "Trump University." The promotional materials for those seminars promised that if you signed up for the advanced classes, you'd learn all of Donald Trump's secrets to getting rich, and now he's getting sued for delivering no secrets at all. This is clearly a man who can keep things under his hat, which is a beautiful red hat with "Make America Great Again" printed on it.