National Security Expert Worries about Pres Trump's Credibility & Diplomacy from Recent Actions

May 19, 2017

Then Candidate Donald Trump was with Onondaga County Republican Party Chair Tom Dadey at the party's convention.
Credit file photo

A National Security expert here in Syracuse has what he calls ‘considerable concern’ over events in Washington surrounding a possible intelligence breach and an ongoing investigation involving President Donald Trump. 

Bill Smullen is Director of National Security Studies at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.  He’s worried President Trump’s sharing of intelligence could have diplomatic implications.

“It raises the possibility that it violates an agreement for this information to be held only by the United States.  So future relations with Israel could be damaged by this.  Now that the Russians have this information, they could share it with Iran, Israel’s main threat.”

Smullen disagrees with calls to stop the investigation into former Trump Adviser Michael Flynn.  He says Americans deserve to know about any talks with Russia.

Director of National Security Studies at SU Bill Smullen
Credit file photo

“…which indeed could have been promises.  It could have been conditions that would be offered to them if President Trump was able to, for example, lift sanctions against the Russians in return for something else.  That would be very problematic and indeed could also lead to the determination as to what degree the Russians interfered in our elections.”

Smullen further believes the President might have shown a bit of naiveté in the firing of former F-B-I Director James Comey, who likely chronicled every conversation.

“There are probably many memos, unless it was one continuous memo. But only until members of Congress see those memos will they be able to determine whether or not the President intentionally wanted to preclude justice from prevailing.”

Smullen would like to see a truly independent person named next Director of the F-B-I,  who could effectively investigate Flynn’s background, the Russian election hacking, and any conflicts-of-interest in the Comey firing.   The president is about to embark on his first foreign policy trip.  Smullen wonders if the controversies weaken his standing.

“The United States has a very serious problem with regard to the credibility of the President of the United States.  I’m bothered by that because I don’t want my President to not have the credibility the American people deserve.  If I were advising President Trump it would be to be more conscientious that everything that comes out of his moth, everything that comes out of his mind, has consequences.  And those consequences can be very damaging.”