Conservative columnist David Brooks argues Trump’s immaturity led to the disclosure:
From all we know so far, Trump didn’t do it because he is a Russian agent, or for any malevolent intent. He did it because he is sloppy, because he lacks all impulse control, and above all because he is a 7-year-old boy desperate for the approval of those he admires.
The Russian leak story reveals one other thing, the dangerousness of a hollow man.
But Trump’s statements don’t necessarily come from anywhere, lead anywhere or have a permanent reality beyond his wish to be liked at any given instant.
We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.
Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic:
Donald Trump is not incapable of keeping secrets when it serves him to do so. He has guarded years of his tax returns more closely than any president in the modern era. But when the security of the United States, the lives of Western intelligence assets, the trust of U.S. allies, and the fight against ISIS are at stake, he appears to be less adept. [...] For a man like Trump, character is destiny. His glaring lack of mastery over himself and unwillingness to master the knowledge required to do his job well all but guarantee that he will keep damaging America’s interests so long as he remains in office. The most patriotic thing he could do for his country is to grasp his limits and resign.
Amy Zegart analyzes what is meant by “code word” information:
Code word is beyond Top Secret. It limits access to classified information to a much narrower pool of people to provide an extra layer of security. Many secrets are super-secrets—Harry Truman, as vice president, didn’t know about the Manhattan project. He learned of it only after Franklin Delano Roosevelt died and Truman was sworn in as president. Code word classification is so far off the scale, even fake spies rarely refer to it in the movies. Technically, the president can "declassify" anything he wants, so he did not violate any laws. But as Lawfare notes, if the president tweeted out the nuclear codes, he also wouldn't violate the law—but he would rightly be considered unfit for office.
Paul Waldman at The Week points out that there are no real anti-Trump Republicans:
[W]e might call them sort-of-anti-Trump Republicans, those hardy few willing to go on record criticizing the president over this decision or that scandal. For instance, shortly after The Washington Post broke the news of Trump's loose lips with Russian officials, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who remained critical of Trump throughout 2016, said, "If it's true, it'd be troubling." Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker went a bit farther, calling the allegations "very, very troubling" and conceding that the White House is in "a downward spiral right now." Arizona Sen. John McCain called the report "deeply disturbing." He also supports a select congressional committee to investigate the Russia scandal. Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse has said that the firing of James Comey "exacerbates the erosion of trust in our institutions." And so on.
But what are these Republicans actually doing to oppose Trump?
Not much. Nearly all of them made a bargain with Trump: We'll support you, and you deliver the goods. Those goods include conservative court nominations, an administration filled with Republicans, and the president's signature on whatever legislation the Republican Congress passes.
Eugene Robinson says the only way to stop Trump is for Democrats to win big in 2018:
If news reports are correct, he is mulling a substantial shake-up of his White House staff. But no communications team is going to look good while having to defend the crazy, indefensible things Trump regularly says. No chief of staff can institute orderly processes if Trump is going to ignore them and fly by the seat of his pants. Trump is used to running things a certain way. He’s not going to change.
We are where we are. Democrats need to flip one or both houses of Congress next year to slow this runaway train. It won’t stop itself.