As controversy and scandal and reports of outright criminal behavior continue to swirl out of control, Donald Trump and his White House seem to be settling on a consistent theme. Whenever any adviser or staffer gets caught up in these things, the official position is that the person was acting alone. But word comes today of an incident which would seem to shatter that entire premise.
Even back during the transition period, members of Donald Trump’s transition team were caught creating photocopies of classified documents and making off with them, according to the Associated Press. The Obama administration caught them doing this, and apparently unsure of what steps to take in the midst of such an unprecedented breach of ethics by the Trump team, ultimately settled on forcing Trump’s people to come to the White House to view any subsequent classified documents so they could be watched over. And here’s the kicker.
This wasn’t the handiwork of Michael Flynn, whom the Trump White House is now blaming for everything. This wasn’t being carried out by any of the former Trump advisers who are now believed to be under FBI investigation for the Russia scandal. This wasn’t isolated behavior by any particular designated bogey man. This was just Donald Trump’s transition team running amok with classified documents, because that’s how they thought it was okay to behave.
The only way Trump’s transition team could have thought it was okay to act in such a manner was if they’d gotten the signal from Donald Trump himself that it was all perfectly fine. It’s not even clear from the AP story if these documents were being photocopied so they could be stolen and sold, or if the Trump staffers just thought it was okay to photocopy classified documents and take them home for further reading. This is what Trump’s administration is built on – and it can’t be scapegoated on any particular disgraced former team members.