Donald Trump dines with Shinzō Abe at Mar-a-Lago in February.

Donald Trump dines with Shinzō Abe at Mar-a-Lago in February. Susan Walsh/AP

A List of the Trump Administration’s Security Breaches So Far

Revealing classified information to top Russian officials was but the latest in a string of lapses since Trump took office.

President Donald Trump’s reported disclosure of classified information to Russia’s foreign minister and US ambassador last week is but the latest in a string of notable security breaches to have taken place in the less than four months since he took office.

With even top Republicans—such as Bob Corker, chair of the Senate foreign affairs committee—losing patience, we bring you a list of the Trump administration’s security snafus to date. At least, those that have been publicly reported.

Not firing national security adviser Mike Flynn for 18 days

It took Trump 18 days to fire national security adviser Mike Flynn, after acting attorney general Sally Yates had warned the White House counsel, Don McGahn, that Flynn was liable to blackmail by Russia because he hadn’t fully disclosed details of his conversations with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office. This prolonged his exposure to sensitive information, and could conceivably have given him more time to hand over state secrets.

Using Mar-a-Lago as an al fresco situation room

Trump was dining with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in his private members’ club in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, when he took a call about North Korea launching a missile test. Instead of immediately going somewhere secure, Trump held the meeting in the view of guests like these:

screenshot-2017-02-13-12-13-11

The same guest also got up close and personal with the man who carries the nuclear launch information for the president. (The Pentagon acknowledged that this is unusual but not illegal or against official protocol.)

Using a non-secure Android phone

For at least the early days of his presidency, Trump was using an Android phone believed to be made in 2012—which no longer receives updates. That means it can easily be hacked, and turned into a live bug at any time.

Leaving a secure document pouch out with the key in it

Martin Heinrich, a Democratic senator, spotted a security breach in a press photo: A lockbag, or pouch containing classified documents, with the key still in it, sitting on Trump’s desk during a meeting in the Oval Office. That, according to Heinrich, shouldn’t be done around people without security clearances (such as journalists). Security experts consulted by Politico said that more generally, leaving documents out on his desk to be photographed by the press was not a good security practice.

Trump’s bodyguard revealing the defense secretary’s phone number

Trump’s bodyguard, Keith Schiller, was photographed walking on White House grounds carrying a sheaf of papers with a sticky note attached that read “Jim, Mad Dog, Mattis,” along with a phone number. A reporter who dialed the number got defense secretary James Mattis’s voicemail.

Pre-announcing Jared Kushner’s visit to a war zone

Visits by top officials to dangerous regions are never usually announced ahead of time, as it opens airports up to greater risk of terror attacks. However, when Jared Kushner, Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, visited Iraq, the White House got its wires crossed, telling reporters that he had arrived when he was still in the air.

Revealing that the CIA had been hacked

Trump told Fox News that the CIA had been hacked during the Obama years, with “a lot of things taken.” This had never been revealed to the public. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee said: “For anyone else to do what the president may have done, would constitute what he deplores as ‘leaks.’”

Letting a Russian state photographer into the Oval Office

A former deputy CIA director said “it was not” a sound decision to allow a photographer from Russian state news agency Tass into the Oval Office with his camera—on the same occasion Trump revealed the classified information to Russia’s foreign minister and US ambassador. The Russian state press is often seen as an arm of the Russian government. American press were denied access to the meeting.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.