By now Trump’s latest tirade against the New York Times is well known. He has accused the newspaper of treason for "tipping off" the Russians that we’ve already made preparations to hack their power grid if the leadership of that country insists on messing with our elections.
Trump is furious.
Now if this were a matter of great secrecy that the Times divulged, à la Julian Assange, I wouldn’t blame the president for his anger. But the truth is that the White House leaked the story because we want Russia to know that we’re not sitting on our hands while they continue to impede our democratic processes.
Trump believed that the story was created out of whole cloth; but in fact it was only a secret from him. His own administration and most people involved in security were afraid that if Trump knew of this plan, he would countermand it for fear of upsetting his BFF, Vladimir.
It’s not an unwarranted concern: several times within the past few weeks alone, Trump has taken the word of our adversaries over his security advisors, and since Bill Barr conflated surveillance with spying, there’s no one to hold Trump to account. The White House administrators—the ones who are at least stable if not geniuses—probably wanted to avoid a public apology from Trump to Putin—“sorry we hurt your feelings,” or some such.
This is well beyond bizarre—a president with whom our national security interests cannot be trusted for fear he will choose an adversary first. But this is life in the U.S.A. with an ignoramus at the helm. And admit it, this story does at least give a hint that there are people doing their jobs, even if that involved subterfuge, deceit, and a lot of end runs to keep the nominal leader of the free world from giving the world away.