Could A Civilian Trump Get A Security Clearance?

Had the country not elected Trump to a job with automatic security clearance he probably couldn’t get one on his own.

Glancing over the State Department guidelines for access to classified information a few potential barriers pop up. (For starters he probably couldn’t get away with hiding his tax returns.)

Security clearance dis-qualifiers that might trip up a civilian Donald Trump:

  • Behavior that casts doubt on an individual’s judgment, reliability, or trustworthiness, including but not limited to emotionally unstable, irresponsible, dysfunctional, violent, paranoid, or bizarre behavior.
  • A substantial financial interest in a country, or in any foreign owned or operated business that could make the individual vulnerable to foreign influence.
  • Sexual behavior that causes an individual to be vulnerable to coercion, exploitation, or duress. Sexual behavior of a criminal nature, whether or not the individual has been prosecuted.
  • Personal conduct or concealment of information that may increase a persons susceptibility to blackmail.
  • A pattern of high-risk, irresponsible, aggressive, anti-social or emotionally unstable behavior.
  • Information that suggests that the individual’s current behavior indicates a defect in his or her judgment or reliability.

Oh, and one more as of yesterday:
Deliberate or negligent disclosure of classified or other protected information to unauthorized persons.

[Cross-posted via HuffPost]


61 thoughts on “Could A Civilian Trump Get A Security Clearance?”

  1. civilian?  ahh…. for a moment there I enjoyed the thought of him no longer in office. reality crashes in and he’s still there…. bummer.

    imagine the negotiating plans afoot to negotiate the guy outta office.  shall we promise a pardon and let him keep former-presidents type bennies like a  library,  let him designate mal-a-ego a national monument, rename kennedy airport for him maybe?     what will it take…

  2. craig, thanks for the thread topic today… a good lesson to share with the twit’s true believers.

  3. excerpt from dana Milbank at wapo:

    Trump has sucked the lifeblood out of Sean Spicer

    Alas, poor Spicer! I knew him well.

    He was one of the top Republican flacks in town, affable and quick-witted, always happy to dish with reporters off the record. I liked him. I still like him — or at least that Spicer I knew before he answered Donald Trump’s call.

  4. RR

    But then Coulter turns around and says she will consider supporting Jeff Session.  Just more fodder for her grey haired, face lifted, and stretched beyond belief 15 minutes of fame.

  5. Published on May 16, 2017

    Stephen is afraid it will be as hard for him to say ‘goodbye’ as it is for the Press Secretary to say ‘the truth.’

    at 1:33 in on vid Colbert addresses trump: “you’re a bad president. please resign”
    big applause

  6. Patd

    Have to love an article that uses my favorite form of murder:  Defenestrated

    Great way to go if someone forcibly insists you leave.


  7. Morning Joe is on a rant about the Trump mess being the fault of allowing a “life long Democrat” into their nomination procedure.  Of course the Democrats did much the same thing by allowing a life long Independent/Socialist into their nomination procedure.

    End result:  Hillary was destroyed and we got stuck with Trump.


  8. U.S. Intelligence Officials Reportedly Warn Israeli Counterparts Against Sharing Info With Trump Administration.  Shared information could be leaked to Russia and onward to Iran, American officials implied to Israelis in closed meeting, saying Kremlin has ‘leverages of pressure’ over Trump, Ronen Bergman reports.


  9. ko lists several potential charges to obstruct justice

    Published on May 15, 2017

    A case can now be made based on what Donald Trump did last week.

  10. from the hill:

    “As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining…to terrorism and airline flight safety,” the president tweeted.

    “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”

  11. What is the responsibility of those who deliver classified information to the President? If they see/perceive a clear & present danger, could they refuse to deliver such information? Would they be insubordinate or would they ultimately be doing what they are supposed to be doing: protecting humanity.

    Expecting & hoping for increased traffic between journalists & the intelligence community. For as much as we denigrate the news media we need a free, intelligent Press more than ever. I have confidence they won’t let us down & I am thankful for their diligence.


  12. Jamie,

    ’twas but a year ago said Morning Host was hoping to be the future #45’s running mate. Had no problem then …..


  13. So will the Office of Legal Counsel confirm in a tweet dump’s opinion, shared in a tweet, that he has an absolute right to share intelligence with the Russians?  Must be right if he tweeted it, right?

  14. Morning Load  why does anyone watch  the man  is as big a liar as Pussy Grabber

    The Russians have sure been able to take advantage of PG — what a loser

  15. blurb from ny times story “How Government Secrets Are Declassified and Disclosed”
    Did Mr. Trump have legal authority to disclose the information?
    Yes. The designation of information as a restricted national security secret is considered part of the president’s constitutional powers as commander in chief. Because the classified information system was not established and is not regulated by congressional statutes, Mr. Trump has the power to declassify or disclose anything he wants.
    “The classification system is not based on a law,” said Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy specialist with the Federation of American Scientists. “It is an expression of presidential authority, and that means that the president and his designees decide what is classified, and they have the essentially unlimited authority to declassify at will. The president defines the terms of the security clearance system and the parameters that determine who may be given access to classified information.”

    Did Mr. Trump’s disclosure declassify the information?
    Apparently not. Notably, although White House officials put out statements late on Monday playing down any problem with what he told the Russians, the administration also implored Washington Post reporters not to publish the details lest their dissemination damage national security.

  16. Fox News aside, wondering how the 2016 election may have twisted & turned if NBC/msnbc, CNN had different men piloting the helm. Money talks, morals walk. Of course Lack, Griffin, Zucker aren’t paid to be moralists. They increased the bottom line; their example will be used as how to run a business as opposed to how to save democracy.

    This Way To The Egress 👉


  17. PG doesn’t even have the excuse of drugs or alcohol

    he just can’t keep his big fat mouth shut

  18. The media also did John Kerry in…Morning Load was among the many who KNEW the garbage scow guys were liars but he kept the story alive

  19. Jamie…  Coulter will be Coulter.  I don’t expect her to say she’s a closet Democrat.  But as others have pointed out here…  with all 3 branches being controlled by the Republicans, we need them to see Trump as destroying their brand name in order to impeach him.  Coulter calling him a “nightmare” is a start.

  20. Man-hands Ann is like a big beefier version of the condom…the goopers must have a factory some place where they turn out blonde maroons

  21. Thought it might be time to rerun this one. I have a duplicate waiting in the wings that says “had a great fall” instead of “about to have…” 😉

    eProf: Playing catch-up but wanted to tell you that I love the falling curtain post from yesterday. There has certainly been a curtain (shroud, dark cloud?) falling over our country under trump. I only hope he’s gone before he can do any more damage. The end can’t come soon enough for me. I’ll be happy to go back to normal irritation with my government instead of the absolute fear and dread that I’ve felt since November.

    Jamie: Always enjoyed Powers Booth! He was brilliant as Jim Jones and I will now re-watch True Women. He played a subsidiary role in it, as did all the men 😉 but I enjoyed the relationship between Dana Delaney’s character and his character. A good TV movie about the role of women in the history of Texas. PS: As for all the youngerlings passing before me…that’s the way I want to go, quietly, in my sleep. Although #1 son won’t let me go for at least 20 more years. He enjoys denial LOL!

    Craig: Love the thought of him having his clearance taken away! What I want to know is what happens to the young princess & her prince and all the cronies appointed to various positions in the government? The whole administration is unworthy and suspect! I certainly hope they all take the fall with trumpty!

  22. Two oddities of WH argument on this story (altho odd is not unusual, for them):

    — they keep standing on the argument that the President has the power to declassify, yet are threatening media if they publish details of what he told the Russians (so, it’s OK for Putin to know, but nobody else? Apparently he hadn’t even told the Senate/House Intelligence Committees this stuff)

    — And, if this was declassified under the President’s authority, then aren’t they no longer secrets the media shouldn’t publish?

  23. In answer to the question – no way could the floater get a security clearance of any type.  The first set of questions includes legal issues, character issues and who you know.  American and Russian mobsters tend to make a bad set of references.  Bankruptcy is a huge problem, especially multiples.  And lying does not get it.  Those are just for a simple clearance, Classified, or public risk.  Any level above those would never be considered.

    Thinking about the polygraph many of the TS SSBI positions require makes me think he might pass a poly.  He has no morals or angel on his shoulders.  He thinks only of the moment, no past and no future.  That moment contains no lies to cause biometric and physiological changes that a poly relies on.

    There is one thing he is telling himself and the world about treason he most likely committed last week, he does not have a right to tell enemies or friends intelligence.  Whether or not the material is classified, does not give him the right to give our secrets to others.  There are proper ways to declassify material, and he is president not king, therefore not following the proper procedures.  He has caused people to suffer and possibly be captured, tortured and killed.

    It is time for Congress to do what is in the Constitution regarding high crimes and treason.

  24. Poobah, those inconsistencies by the trump WH haven’t escaped notice over at WaPo.  It’s interesting seeing the trumpettes try and argue around them in the comments following the columns. In short, the WH and the sycophants who support trump are trying to cover trump’s latest FUp and are doing a poor job of it.

  25. Coulter sums up how I think many, if not most, of his voters see him: “Everyone who voted for him knew his personality was grotesque,” but it was the issues. and on that “things don’t look good.”

    So if they eventually decide he’s no good on their issues, the personal baggage kicks in.

  26. Now the Grabbers are saying it its all about the leakers and unfortunately, they don’t mean Pussy Grabber

  27. WH

    McMaster throwing himself under the bus.  If there were more weasel words in his statement, he would be living in a den.   He still won’t specifically say if the information shared by Trump was “classified” just that it was “appropriate” to the conversation with the Russians.


  28. The only one left to speak for PG is Baron and he is still in NY so unavailable

  29. MSNBC  – representing the proPussy Grabber point of view   Andrew Card oy

  30. KGC – No.  There are very specific procedures to declassify material.  One of the most important is that originator of the classification is the one to declassify the stuff.  That is to ensure that if the material needs to keep or change levels there is one voice.  An example would be if State classified a document which arrived in the mail, secret, and it was shared with DOD.  DOD cannot own the material, they cannot change the classification level of that material.  It could become part of a higher level document, but not a lower.  And, DOD cannot declassify the document.

    One of the side pieces of this is Wikileaks.  If you have a clearance you should not look at it.  You do not have the need to know what is there unless that is your job.  I spent a lot of time avoiding learning anything outside of what I needed to know.  Also, having been in a position where I knew a lot, my level of compartmentalizment was very different from those who worked for me and those I worked with, I had to make sure that anyone who I talked to was authorized and had a need to know.

    There is a push to absolve the guy by stating he, as president, can declassify whatever he wants.  That might hold up, unless he knowingly has given comfort and aid to an enemy.  The senile old man might get away with this, up to the point where the republicans get nervous about their reelection.

  31. Any media staking out the Naval Observatory? The comings & goings of the Vice President could be telling. Even more telling could be who is coming to visit him.

    Mike Pence has many views I do not agree with but I don’t doubt his sanity or competency.

    Wow, my bar is lowering hourly.





  32. Jamie
    For males, defenestration is said to be more effective as a deterrent if it is accompanied by rumors that it was preceded by emasculation.

  33. The CNN debate featuring Sen Bernie and Gov Ohio at 2100 eastern tonite should be interesting. I expect to be impressed by Ohio’s Kasich .

  34. Could he get a security clearance?  A U.S. Government security clearance?  Great idea – I bet they require TAX RETURNS before they issue one.  Snark aside, I seriously doubt it.

  35. ok Netanyahooo, you got what you wanted

    Bebe probably doesn’t even know, he’s at the bus station waiting for Jared and the secret peace plan



  36. Flatus

    Edward I had Piers Gaveston who did not get the heave ho from the window no matter what Mel Gibson had to say on the subject in Braveheart

    Now Edward II had Sir Hugh Despenser who did get rather painfully quartered but at least got a planting in Hulton Abbey … except for the head claimed by his wife (She may have had her reasons for the request).

  37. Look on the bright side:  The Russians won’t hack our secrets if we just tell the secrets to them in the first place.


  38. So who will play the dithering blathering McMaster on SNL? Perhaps Woody Allen in bald cap and muscle suit.

  39. Perhaps Dems should run for control of Congress promising to impeach Trump. Would be funny to watch GOP candidates deal with that.

  40. McMasters, a week ago people considered him the adult keeping the man-child in the crib.  Now we know he drank the kool-aide and pledged fealty to the king.  So much for his career.

  41. Yard is done. Temp made it up to 100 while I was outside–it’s 93 now.

    Jamie, I think the order was hanging then drawing followed by quartering. Finally the whole grisly mess would be suspended from beams at the entrance of Tower Bridge.

  42. BB

    I give the WH story an F3. Want to give it a D4 but then I would have to explain why; I’m unwilling to do that for patriotic reasons.

    Also, the Briefing Officer would have undoubtedly stated that the material to be presented was “Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals except, if there were any exceptions.” When I had our Brit and Aussie in the room, I would warn them before hand. And, every time I would state, “Warning Notice, Sensitive Sources and Methods are Involved.”

    One would know that things were serious when multiple security checkpoint stops were required followed by a 75-yard walk thru the tunnel to the Green Door. At that point signatures were required and everything was read rather than briefed.

  43. worth noting: An FBI agent’s contemporaneous notes are admissible as proof in court. Surely that also applies to the FBI director.

  44. That meme of Spice-y in the bushes reminds me of a pic of David in Costa Rica.

    When Baron moves to DC, is the media going to be distracted from real news?

    Will Ferrell needs to guest in SNL as McMaster.

    Season finale this week, but WU in Thursdays over the summer.

  45. Buffoon Don boy if this is payback for American exceptionalism then it is true that karma is a bitch


  46. If you’re the president who has tried to get the FBI director to let an investigation  regarding your intelligence expert  go, you gotta really hate it if the FBI director kept contemporaneous notes.

    Drip, drip, drip.

  47. PG fired Comey because Comey said it made him nauseous to think he had influenced the election

  48. Mrs. P sez he’s stupid & paranoid. I have difficulty getting her to weigh in on our idjit president.

    And here I was naively thinking the HR McMaster/Russia meeting was going to be the big news of the day. Boy was I wrong.

    Heheheh. Drip drip drip.

  49. And now Justice Dept names a Special Counsel in Russia Investigation

    Welcome to the three ring circus.



    If anyone is interested in Saturday’s Preakness, the post position draw was today and here is the line up and morning odds.


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