Jared Kushner Has Been Receiving Intelligence Reports Before Herr Trump
The Washington Post has a big scoop on this but it buried the lead as Bill Palmer points out:
“Amid this past week’s revelations that Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is being investigated by the FBI for his role in the Russia scandal, and that he was trying to set up secret communications channels with the Russian government, a number of prominent individuals have called for his security clearance to be revoked. Now comes word of just how strange of a role Kushner has been playing when it comes to classified information.”
“Donald Trump doesn’t take his daily security briefings particularly seriously and he doesn’t seem to understand what’s being presented to him, according to a new Washington Post article (link). None of that comes as a surprise, considering his track record. But all the way down in the thirty-first paragraph of that article is the buried lede about Kushner.”
“It turns out Jared Kushner has been receiving classified intel from briefers before it gets to Donald Trump. Kushner has his daily briefings early in the morning, while Trump’s own briefings usually don’t begin until 10:30. That means that not only is Kushner being given classified secrets from the U.S. intel community and foreign allies each day, he’s being given the information before it makes its way to Trump.”
As Palmer notes, Kushner is a potential Russian asset who met with Kisylak and and Russian banker Gorkov from a sanctioned Russian bank in December-and withheld his meetings with Russians on his security clearance form.
While Republicans are trying to defend Kushner-you don’t convict without a fair hearing, etc-that doesn’t mean you have to allow someone with this level of a cloud hanging over him to continue to receive classified info-before Herr Trump himself receives it.
And yes, the Washington Post had the goods but buried the lede. Their main thrust in their article was that Trump doesn’t read the classified info he receives with any depth. Yes, as has been reported previously, he likes his briefings to be one page, contain maps and bullet points.
“Most mornings, often at 10:30, sometimes earlier, Trump sits behind the historic Resolute desk and, with a fresh Diet Coke fizzing and papers piled high, receives top-secret updates on the world’s hot spots. The president interrupts his briefers with questions but also with random asides. He asks that the top brass of the intelligence community be present, and he demands brevity.”
“As they huddle around the desk, Trump likes to pore over visuals — maps, charts, pictures and videos, as well as “killer graphics,” as CIA Director Mike Pompeo phrased it.”
“That’s our task, right? To deliver the material in a way that he can best understand the information we’re trying to communicate,” said Pompeo, adding that he, too, prefers to “get to the core of the issue quickly.”
“Yet there are signs that the president may not be retaining all the intelligence he is presented, fully absorbing its nuance, or respecting the sensitivities of the information and how it was gathered.”
“Earlier this month, for instance, Trump bragged to top Russian diplomats about the quality of the intelligence and revealed highly classified information, related to the fight against the Islamic State, that had been shared by a U.S. partner.”
Right from the start, Trump got off on the wrong foot with his own intel community:
“Intelligence officials were prepared to deliver daily briefings to Trump throughout the transition period, but the president-elect often turned them away, usually agreeing to sit for briefings only once or twice per week.”
“You know, I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years,” Trump told Fox News last December.
“President Barack Obama offered a retort when he later appeared on “The Daily Show.”
“It doesn’t matter how smart you are,” Obama said. “. . . If you’re not getting their perspective, their detailed perspective, then you are flying blind.”
Flying blind. That does seem to be a fair description of Trump’s Administration.
Anyway, here is the buried lede, Bill Palmer mentioned:
“Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, often observes quietly; he receives his own intelligence briefing earlier in the morning, according to two White House officials. Some Democrats are now calling for Kushner’s security clearance to be reviewed after The Washington Post reported Friday that he attempted to set up back-channel communications with the Russian government during the presidential transition.”
So we had Mike Flynn continuing to receive classified info after the WH knew he was under FBI investigation and now Jared Kushner continues to receive classified info with all these concerns about him.
Remember then the GOP said Obama was diminishing our place in the world?
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.