Once again, the mainstream media exploded yesterday with breathless tales of purported incompetence, or worse, treasonous betrayal of our deepest intelligence secrets to the Russians. Suddenly, the Kremlin has become the bad guy for Progressives, no longer worthy to hold the vast share of our uranium reserves it acquired under Hillary Clinton's supervision as secretary of state. And, as an article of faith, it was only because of the Russians that Hillary Clinton was denied her rightful term as president of the United States.
By now, you probably know the story that caused the newsroom at the Washington Post to erupt in celebration: "Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador."
Based on anonymous sources (of course) said to be current and former officials (those former officials did not have official access, so they must be basing their opinions on hearsay – but never mind that basic flaw; this is a matter of getting dirt on Trump, so forget about standards), the story claimed that the president revealed the name of a town from which sensitive data on ISIS was received and thereby revealed too much about sources and methods used by an ally to provide us with intelligence.
There were only five U.S. officials at the meeting, and three of them have spoken publicly and denied that the Post's account is true. National security adviser (and former General) H.R. McMaster's words ought to be dispositive: "I was in the room. It didn't happen."
But the critics continue parsing the denials and claiming that some intelligence catastrophe has befallen us – minus any actual facts about what was revealed and how serious it is.
It is entirely believable to me that President Trump would offer a bit of intelligence to his Russian visitors. That is the sort of bargaining chip that might have been proffered in hope of getting something in return. Of course, we would know nothing at all about that other side of the bargain – if there was one. In fact, national security requires that the public not be fully briefed on what happened.
This is what leaves the door open for Trump-haters in the national security or diplomatic establishments to seize on one fragment of information they may have learned about the meeting from accounts by those who were there and portray it as a diplomatic gaffe or even hint at treason. President Trump will be vulnerable to this nonsense as long as he is in the Oval Office and as long as the Trump haters continues to work their covert mischief against the president they are supposed to serve.
The game here is to utterly convince a majority – through fake news as well as real news – that Trump is a disaster. The haters now have another reason to despise him, even if it is nonsense.