Can Donald Trump be trusted not to leak the information he gets in intelligence briefings given to him as a presidential candidate? It’s always been in doubt given Trump’s mouth, but his plea to Russia to hack Hillary Clinton has put the safety of any classified information he might receive into still greater question. Clinton’s campaign is suggesting that intelligence agencies should think hard about that:
“I think it’s an issue that … Jim Clapper’s going to have to come to grips with,” John Podesta said in an interview with The Huffington Post, referring to the director of national intelligence. “And I think they’ll have to find a way to negotiate with him and with his campaign to get … more than assurances ― sort of some proof that they can be able to hold on to that information.” [...]
“This isn’t a normal political story, and it’s not funny ... And for Donald Trump to suggest that a foreign power should hack the candidate of the opposing power is beyond outrageous. I think it is really disqualifying,” Podesta said.
“I don’t know how the DNI assures himself that information that is being passed on to him is going to be secure,” he added.
The problem here is obvious: this is Donald Trump. What level of assurance or proof exists that he wouldn’t cheerfully violate without a second thought? Some sort of thought-sensing shock collar that would blast Trump when he thought about revealing anything he shouldn’t? Even that would need a split-second response time, considering Trump’s propensity for blurting stuff out.
Trump is in new territory here, saying stuff that would have been unthinkable even a year ago. It demands a new kind of response. But whether anyone will seriously hold him to account is another question.