Is what Donald Trump’s presidency is facing regarding sharing information with Russian officials different than the controversies he has faced previously? According to CNN reporter, Stephen Collinson, it is. He has written an extensive article titled, “Why the Latest White House Crisis Is Really a Big Deal.” The report that the president revealed highly classified information to Russia is creating a platform for people to ask the question: Is Donald Trump competent enough to be president? Former CIA Director, Michael Hayden, said on “CNN Tonight” on Monday, “This isn’t really about the power of the President. He has the power to do this. This is more about the person of the President and the performance.”
The stakes with this crisis seem to be much higher than the controversy about the inaugural crowd size or the undisciplined nature of random Tweets. The damage from this crisis has national security, intelligence, and international implications. Some are saying that it is possible that lives could be at risk since the information shared seems to be focused on ISIS and their terror plot against civil aviation.
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Although the White House rolled out top-level leadership to quell the Washington Post story, it just doesn’t seem like their communication blitz can counter the perception that the President is not only inexperienced but chaotic in his leadership. “We are seeing the results of him being a bit undisciplined, impulsive, instinctive and intuitive, little patience for preparation and little patience for process,” said Hayden. “When he goes off script like this (it is) ultimately destructive of his own purposes.”
CNN’s, Stephen Collinson, has listed five reasons why this crisis is really a big deal, here is the first:
- The competence question
We’ve all heard the adage: “Perception if reality.” Every president who has served would attest to the truth of that statement. Once the public loses confidence in a president’s reputation or competence to lead, decline happens quickly. We only need to look at Jimmy Carter’s experience in his one term presidency. Firing James Comey and then sharing information with Russian officials on the very next day has caused even some Republican leadership to pause and question Trump’s leadership. Can the president be trusted with America’s most carefully guarded secrets?
Senate Republican, Bob Corker, who is considered a strong influence on Capitol Hill, said about Trump’s administration, “They are in a downward spiral right now and have got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that’s happening. The chaos that is being created by the lack of discipline is creating an environment that I think — it creates a worrisome environment.” Harvard professor emeritus, Alan Dershowitz, gave this assessment regarding just how important this issue is, “This is the most serious charge ever made against a sitting president of the United States. Let’s not underestimate it,” he told CNN’s, Erin Burnett.
The media is continuing to question if the President is competent to hold office. What do you think is he?