American politics are in chaos once more, after more “faux news” spun a recent event out of control… again. Trump’s decision to release sensitive information about the fight against ISIS is causing a divide that’s widening by the minute, and much like any other piece of “Trumped-up” news, a good third of what’s being said is patently false. So what exactly DID happen, and what exactly DID Trump release?
As with nearly anything related to Trump, the truth is significantly different from what you’ve been seeing online and on television. Here’s what Trump REALLY shared with the Russians, and why he did it.
Trump isn’t mincing words when it comes to admitting that he released information to Russia; in fact, he’s staunchly proud and defensive of the move. In an interview on Tuesday, he highlighted exactly why he believes he made the right choice.
“As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety,” the POTUS tweeted.
President Trump also shared his reasoning, citing “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”
What was really shared by Trump in his meeting with Russian senior officials was intelligence reports, possibly including location information or the names of ISIS targets. His goal was to encourage Russia to get more deeply involved in the fight against ISIS. With the right information at hand, Russia could very well be a powerful ally and could even turn the tide for the U.S. government.
So what exactly is the problem here?
The reason so many people have concerns about the POTUS exercising his right to release classified information has less to do with the release and more to do with where the information is coming from and going to.
U.S. government intelligence officers have said that the information released was sourced by an ally in the fight against ISIS, and may jeopardize the ally’s position and ability to source further information. It wasn’t made clear exactly who this ally is or how they would be hindered by the release, leaving many to question whether the potential issue is even real.
Others are less concerned about the potential impact to allies and more concerned about the fact that Trump is working so closely with Russia, a country that inspired the Cold War and years of struggle for Americans both on home soil and overseas.
But under scrutiny, the potential danger of Russia using information about ISIS against America somehow is incredibly minute. Such a move wouldn’t benefit them, and would only serve to threaten Russia just as much as America. Though Russia doesn’t struggle with ISIS to the same degree as the United States, they have generally held just as negative a stance against the organization for the last two decades.
What’s really at play here likely has more to do with the fact that conspiracy theorists are convinced that our POTUS is somehow working with Russia behind the scenes. This, too, is where the idea that Trump is a Russian plant comes from in the first place. It’s also why there is an (as of yet unfounded) investigation into Russia’s interference with the last election.
Intelligence sources have yet to find any proof that Trump worked with Russia, either to get into the White House or to fool the public. At the end of the day, the matter is likely one of poor timing more than anything else.