What happens if the country is faced with a real crisis? North Korea makes invasive moves against its neighbors, there is a serious foreign-bred terrorist attack on the homeland, or perhaps Russia encroaches further on Ukraine. Will we be able to trust what President Trump tells us? In a word, a homeland security expert tells The Hanging Shad, “No.”
Juliette Kayyem, a homeland security official in the Obama administration, says Trump has no credibility. “We can’t believe a word he says,” Kayyem says.” She points to the claim that President Obama somehow tapped then-candidate Trump’s phone in New York’s Trump Tower. “He made it up,” she said.
The irony of the whole situation is that if Trump’s advisers or campaign officials were having conversations with Russian operatives, then intelligence officials could very well have been listening in. “Even if he is right—and I believe he made it up—it would show they had reason to listen into those conversations with foreign agents,” Kayyem said. She is also a frequent guest on CNN.
Trump has successfully dodged reporters’ questions or sat stone-faced and ignored them as they were asked. Even the most ardent supporters in Congress have refused to get on board this latest fabrication by the president including one clueless congressman who faults he media for taking Trump at his word:
The latest disclosure is that long-time Trump adviser and supporter (and half a whack job in his own right) Roger Stone has admitted to having contact with the hacker who claims to have been the hack of the Democratic National Committee computers, resulting in embarrassing conversations by Hillary Clinton campaign chief John Podesta.
Stone says his communications with “Guccifer 2.0” were “innocuous.” Innocuous? Is this guy for real? We can just add Stone to the growing list of Trumpers who had contact with Russian officials or operatives during the campaign and transition: Attorney General (for now) Jeff Sessions, fired National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, top adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and foreign policy adviser Carter Page. There is the distinct possibility there will be more.
But the real problem at the heart of all this is that we simply cannot believe Trump when he speaks, or, tweets. The claim about Obama somehow wiretapping Trump Tower can be thrown onto the pile at Trump’s landfill of deceit. Remember the claim that his inaugural was the best attended ever? Lie. That 3 to 5 million fraudulent votes were cast in the election? We’re still waiting the investigation that Vice President Pence is supposed head up. That he won the most electoral votes since Reagan? Lie. And he was called out on it. Now we can add this latest wire-tapping nonsense.
As I asked Kayyem in our conversation, what happens if we have a real crisis? Can we trust the president? She simply replied, “No.”
Kayyem’s book, Security Mom: An Unclassified Guide to Protecting Our Homeland and Your Home, is available here.