Lock Him Up?: Trump Used UNSECURED Private Phone To Chat With Foreign Leaders


It has been reported that Donald Trump was genuinely shocked that he won the election. (Hey, join the club, pal.) And it’s hard to blame him. Even in the days leading up to Election Day, his own internal polling showed that he was about to lose badly. It may explain why his reaction to pulling off the upset was akin to a deer in headlights.

But the realization that his publicity stunt-turned-vanity project actually culminated in his becoming president has certainly not sobered him up. One week into his crucial “transition” to a fully functioning White House by January and Trump appears to be treating it all like one big joke. He teased the “finalists” for his cabinet like it was The Apprentice. He ditched his press pool to go grab a steak dinner. He ranted on Twitter about his haters. And, most disturbingly, he’s been blowing off every important meeting with government agencies meant to get him prepared to actually assume office.

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What he has been doing is taking a number of sensitive phone calls with world leaders from his private phone in Trump Tower without the oversight of America’s intelligence community. It was a point that has stunned even veteran reporters with its stupidity.

Trump’s team seems dimly aware that this is a colossal problem. They quickly shot off a statement to Politico saying that they “took appropriate precautions” to make sure nobody was listening to Trump’s conversation with world leaders. They gave zero specifics, which means these “precautions” could be anything from using encryption technology to literally telling everyone to plug their ears and hum a tune while the future president talks to Putin. And given the clowns currently surrounding Trump as he is holed up in his tower, which one is more likely?

It gets worse.

Like his infamous refusal to prepare for the debates, Trump also doesn’t feel the need to prepare for these calls – many of which are from countries, leaders, and regions of the world that he is essentially completely ignorant of. His team has thus far no-showed on meetings with the Department of Defense, causing real panic in the intelligence community. The most unprepared president in U.S. history won’t even bother taking a crash course to learn what Hillary Clinton would have known before he started.

Under orders from the big boss to welcome the transition team from President-elect Trump with model efficiency and military precision, the armed services and civilian officials have prepared office space, briefing books and get-acquainted guides.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter is traveling, but he directed his chief of staff to stay home so he could be at the Pentagon in case anyone from Team Trump shows up.

But so far, the phone hasn’t rung.

By comparison, here’s a story Annie Lowrey pointed out that shows just how seriously President Obama took the phone calls when talking to foreign heads of state. His phones are secured, his staff is prepped, and a dossier containing all possible information the president might need is handed to the president so he’s ready.

When the president of the United States reaches out to touch someone, very little is left to chance, not even small talk, according to current and former aides interviewed for this story. Each White House’s approach differs slightly, but the broad outlines remain the same.

Before Obama calls another world leader, an aide brings him a specially prepared National Security Council dossier. The package includes a closely held American intelligence portrait of the person he’s going to call — including highly personal information about their personality, their health and their loved ones. “Are they cool-headed? Or the opposite? Do they like to joke?” said one source familiar with the contents of the dossier.

Trump’s approach is to wing it. And to do some from the comfort of his tower rather than a secure building.

Ironically, Trump’s major charge against Hillary Clinton being fit for office was that she was careless with sensitive intel. Funny then that Trump isn’t even in office yet and he’s making her look like the most meticulous planner in history. So we have to ask… will his fans begin a “lock him up?” chant if and when his private phone calls to world leaders leak?


Featured image via Scott Olson/Getty Images

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