By Cameron Gonzales
The U.S. Military has been cautious to inform President Trump about recent cyber warfare operations against Russia, according to a New York Times report released last week. Pentagon and intelligence officials explained, in loose terms, that they believed the President might betray ongoing operations and give that information to a hostile foreign power. The fear stemmed from an incident in 2017 when President Trump disclosed a sensitive operation to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while he was in Syria.
Ever since proven Russian interference in the 2016 election, American cyber warfare experts have been placing increasingly aggressive malware (software that is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system) into the Russian power grid. Intelligence officials believe that the President may either shut down the cyber offensive all together, or worse, reveal it to our foreign adversaries.
The President’s previous actions encourage their fears. In a 2017 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump confiscated the notes of his translator, demanding that the interpreter discuss the meeting with no one, including other U.S. officials. His continued insistence that Russia did not interfere in his campaign, alongside his recent acknowledgment that there were business deals between Russia and the current President during the campaign, rightly concerns officials.
What about our Presidents continued insistence that the Mueller report found “no collusion”? Collusion charges were not mentioned in the report because it is not a legal term. The right word would be conspiracy, which Mueller stated he could not prove because of numerous witnesses that plead the 5th, lies that were told to the Special Counsel by the witnesses, and unknown amounts of evidence destroyed on the encrypted messaging app, WhatsApp.
This isn’t the first time election officials have hidden information from the President for fear of what he could do with that information. Just last year, an anonymous cabinet official wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times outlining the active attempt within the White House to block what the author describes as the President’s “worst inclinations”. If true, the decision of intelligence and Pentagon officials to withhold information from the President is not abnormal but is concerning. The American public should take the concerns of intelligence officials, as well as administration officials seriously.