It was inevitable that this shoe was going to drop, and now it finally has: Donald Trump allegedly leaked classified national security secrets to a guest at his chintzy Mar-a-Lago resort. ABC News has the story.
Months after leaving the White House, former President Donald Trump allegedly discussed potentially sensitive information about U.S. nuclear submarines with a member of his Mar-a-Lago Club -- an Australian billionaire who then allegedly shared the information with scores of others, including more than a dozen foreign officials, several of his own employees, and a handful of journalists, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The billionaire in question is Pratt Industries head Anthony Pratt, who joined Mar-a-Lago after Trump became president. The circumstances of the alleged leak are astonishing.
According to Pratt's account, as described by the sources, Pratt told Trump he believed Australia should start buying its submarines from the United States, to which an excited Trump -- "leaning" toward Pratt as if to be discreet -- then told Pratt two pieces of information about U.S. submarines: the supposed exact number of nuclear warheads they routinely carry, and exactly how close they supposedly can get to a Russian submarine without being detected.
This is what many of Trump's critics had long expected to hear after learning that Trump spirited classified defense information to Mar-a-Lago following his presidency. It surprises almost no one that he would use the documents he allegedly stole as mere party favors, boasting about those secrets to guests and hangers-on in petty, pathetic attempts to look important.
Pratt went on to tell "at least 45 others" about what Trump had told him, apparently because when you're a billionaire you just go around casually telling people nuclear submarine secrets, telephone-game-style. And while we don't know whether Trump was citing correct figures or incorrect ones, investigators told Pratt to stop repeating what Trump told him.
As for why Trump happened to remember very specific classified information about U.S. submarines and their nuclear missiles, it's entirely possible that documents describing those details were among the ones he had parked at Mar-a-Lago in boxes or desk drawers, and even in a bathroom.
While ABC reports that special counsel Jack Smith's team investigated the incident, it went unmentioned in Smith's indictment of Trump for hiding classified documents and lying to federal investigators about them. That may have been a matter of expediency; the document-related charges against Trump appear to be ironclad, with the evidence prosecutors have already gathered. Proving the substance of a Trump-Pratt conversation would likely rest solely on witnesses to the conversation and to Pratt's blabbing afterward.
But it now seems likely that the worst-case scenario is true: Trump not only hoarded and hid classified national security secrets in his for-profit private club, but relayed some of those secrets to visitors based on his personal whim.
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