Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort posed rare security challenges, experts say

World Aug 13, 2022 03:11PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
5/5 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Akie Abe (R, partially obscured) attend dinner with U.S. President Donald Trump his wife Melania, and Robert Kraft (2nd-L), owner of the New England Patriots at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida U.S. 2/5
 
TWTR
-2.97%
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 

By Steve Holland and Karen Freifeld

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The seizure of classified U.S. government documents from Donald Trump's sprawling Mar-a-Lago retreat spotlights the ongoing national security concerns presented by the former president, and the home he dubbed the Winter White House, some security experts say.

Trump is under federal investigation for possible violations of the Espionage Act, which makes it unlawful to spy for another country or mishandle U.S. defense information, including sharing it with people not authorized to receive it, a search warrant shows.

As president, Trump sometimes shared information, regardless of its sensitivity. Early in his presidency, he spontaneously gave highly classified information to Russia’s foreign minister about a planned Islamic State operation while he was in the Oval Office, U.S. officials said at the time.

But it was at Mar-a-Lago, where well-heeled members and guests attended weddings and fundraising dinners and frolicked on a breezy ocean patio, that U.S. intelligence seemed especially at risk.

The Secret Service said when Trump was president that it does not determine who is granted access to the club, but does do physical screenings to make sure no one brings in prohibited items, and further screening for guests in proximity to the president and other protectees.

The Justice Department’s search warrant raises concerns about national security, said former DOJ official Mary McCord.

"Clearly they thought it was very serious to get these materials back into secured space," McCord said. "Even just retention of highly classified documents in improper storage - particularly given Mar-a-Lago, the foreign visitors there and others who might have connections with foreign governments and foreign agents - creates a significant national security threat."

Trump, in a statement on his social media platform, said the records were "all declassified" and placed in "secure storage."

McCord said, however, she saw no "plausible argument that he had made a conscious decision about each one of these to declassify them before he left." After leaving office, she said, he did not have the power to declassify information.

Monday's seizure by FBI agents of multiple sets of documents and dozens of boxes, including information about U.S. defense and a reference to the "French President," poses a frightening scenario for intelligence professionals.

"It's a nightmarish environment for a careful handling of highly classified information," said a former U.S. intelligence officer. "It's just a nightmare."

The DOJ hasn't provided specific information about how or where the documents and photos had been stored, but the club's general vulnerabilities have been well documented.

In a high profile example, Trump huddled in 2017 with Japan's then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at an outdoor dinner table while guests hovered nearby, listening and taking photos that they later posted on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

The dinner was disrupted by a North Korean missile test, and guests listened as Trump and Abe figured out what to say in response. After issuing a statement, Trump dropped by a wedding party at the club.

"What we saw was Trump be so lax in security that he was having a sensitive meeting regarding a potential war topic where non-U.S. government personnel could observe and photograph," said Mark Zaid, a lawyer who specializes in national security cases. "It would have been easy for someone to also have had a device that heard and recorded what Trump was saying as well."

The White House press secretary at the time of the Abe visit, Sean Spicer, told reporters afterward that Trump had been briefed about the North Korean launch in a secure room at Mar-a-Lago. He played down the scene on the patio.

"At that time, apparently there was a photo taken, which everyone jumped to nefarious conclusions about what may or may not be discussed. There was simply a discussion about press logistics, where to host the event," he said.

It was in the secure room at Mar-a-Lago where Trump decided to launch airstrikes against Syria for the use of chemical weapons in April 2017.

The decision made, Trump repaired to dinner with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping. Over a dessert of chocolate cake, Trump informed Xi about the airstrikes.

In 2019, a Chinese woman who passed security checkpoints at the club carrying a thumb drive coded with “malicious” software was arrested for entering a restricted property and making false statements to officials, authorities said at the time.

Then-White House chief of staff John Kelly launched an effort to try to limit who had access to Trump at Mar-a-Lago, but the effort fizzled when Trump refused to cooperate, aides said at the time.

(The story adds dropped word "been" in paragraph 16.)

Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort posed rare security challenges, experts say
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (9)
gab nea
gab nea Aug 16, 2022 8:03AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
he can't read yet he steals documents? who was he selling them to ? honestly now.
gab nea
gab nea Aug 15, 2022 9:30AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
from banning religious groups to books, lying, grifting, insulting to spying to help russia. when do the duped Republicans have enough? they will live with his stain forever!
Jack AAA
Jack_A Aug 14, 2022 11:36PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
God bless the criminal!
gab nea
gab nea Aug 14, 2022 11:36PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
must be an evangelical to put God and criminal in same sentence!
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Aug 14, 2022 1:48PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Triggered trump cuckflakes and simps will surely see that this is a deepstate conspiracy by the liberal global elitist democr… blah blah nlah
gab nea
gab nea Aug 14, 2022 9:01AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
listen I know there is evil people like trump. ******* Manson , stalin and others. my ire is now the republicans who support and repeat trumps lies on queue. small minded that dont know better? can't discern lies?
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Aug 14, 2022 9:01AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Ok i dont like trump either but it is absurd to compare him to stalin dude
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 14, 2022 9:01AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Would you go with Benedict Arnold?
gab nea
gab nea Aug 14, 2022 8:15AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
the orange spy/traitor was peddling secrets to putin all along. that's why he stole them!
David Bowie
Defcon2 Aug 13, 2022 1:14PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
The same corrupt bureau that argued that no reasonable prosecutor would even indict Hillary for transferring top secret intelligence on private servers for 4 years!! This country is so screwed up!!
Ken Roth
Ken Roth Aug 13, 2022 1:14PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Sorry dear trump psykofant your master is found with his hand in the cookie jar and will go to jail. In 1953 we executed a guy who had 1 topsecret document on our nuclear arSenal. Trump will be lucky if he is not sentenced for life
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 13, 2022 1:14PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
@David: get back to us when you've acquired some knowledge of American law, your opinion betrays your ignorance.
Joe Rizzuto
Joe Rizzuto Aug 13, 2022 1:14PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
brad you sound like a parrot waiting to be feed some seeds
gab nea
gab nea Aug 13, 2022 1:14PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
hillary the free citizen was forever investigated wrongfully! your orange mess was wrongfully exonerated each time. by his boot licking republicans!
David CA
ILoveQE Aug 13, 2022 8:03AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
More Socialist liberal garbage media spin.
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Aug 13, 2022 8:03AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Ok, extreme right triggered snowflake cuckhold!
gab nea
gab nea Aug 13, 2022 8:03AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
the maga *******Republicans dont discuss merits of subjects, they can't, so they lob insults. how childish!
gab nea
gab nea Aug 13, 2022 8:03AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
maga= naz is
Joe Rizzuto
Joe Rizzuto Aug 13, 2022 7:58AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
more liberal media garbage... the raid of trump's home over 'documents' is incomprehensible and a sign of justice dept turned kgb, concerned that those document might implicate those in power of heinous crimes.
Show previous replies (2)
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 13, 2022 7:58AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Nut case.
Stephen Fa
Stephen Fa Aug 13, 2022 7:58AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
The documents are just pretense for the search. The party is looking for anything that would prevent Trump from running again against the party.
Chris Cummins
Chris Cummins Aug 13, 2022 7:58AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Stephen Fa  Why? He has lost the general election twice! If you want to guarantee another loss, run the dumpster fire that is Trump!
Ken Roth
Ken Roth Aug 13, 2022 7:58AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Stephen Fa sorry your master is going to jail…
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 13, 2022 7:58AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
@Stephen, it's not like China here. Get back to us when you've learned a little about American jurisprudence.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email