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It is the question that has been on everyone’s mind since we first learned that Trump was keeping/kept the nation’s most Top Secret files in Mar-a-Lago. Given the obvious, almost self-proving nature of the crime, why was Trump willing to take the risk? What was the value to Trump? And, of course, the accompanying sinking feeling one gets upon fully appreciating that Trump monetized his campaign for president ($80K per day on hat sales). Trump monetized the presidency as president (Staying at his own resorts, renting to Secret Service at max rates, Trump International with pre-paid empty rooms). It would almost be shocking if Trump didn’t want to monetize his relationship with the United States government post-presidency. As Scarborough said last week, “He’ll steal anything not nailed to the floor.”
The only reason that holding the documents for potential sale is not the assumed motivation openly discussed across all platforms and media is that the thought is just too awful. If these files concerned some of the most classified Top-Secret, compartmentalized, special access secrets (Asset lists, computer hacks, or the nuclear secrets that were floated early on), and they were held to be sold, or perhaps have been sold (at least in part), then Trump, an ex-president who talks about running again and a godlike figure to 40% of the country, is no different than Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. The Rosenbergs were arrested in 1950 for espionage, passing U.S. nuclear secrets to the Soviets. They were both executed in the electric chair in Sing Sing in 1953.
That is why the media isn’t talking about the sale of material lightly, no matter how significant the possibility. But this morning, the panel on Morning Joe opened up and discussed the possibility:
Mediaite has a short summary:
Eddie Glaude: “Why did [Trump] want the documents? What’s the purpose?”
“Given who he is…Aren’t we worried that he would monetize this?” Glaude asked “He’s like an expert-level grifter. I mean, the danger here is out of bounds, it seems to me.”
Willie Geist followed up with a rundown of Trump’s attempts to lay claim to these documents. Eventually, Mike Barnicle once again floated the possibility that Trump sought to monetize the information he kept for himself, which could’ve meant sharing it with foreign powers.
“Given his nature, given his history, given his lack of character. you can’t help but think he’d look at a document and wonder ‘Wonder what they’d pay to read this in Riyadh?’”
Geist considered this a viable possibility, saying “nothing is beneath him.”
Anyone who says that Trump would never take that big a risk hasn’t been paying attention. This is a man who lunged at his own Secret Service detail to take him to the Capitol. He called the Georgia Sec. of State to tell him to “find” 11,700 votes. He told a Ukrainian president, “Yes, you can have your desperately needed missiles that Congress appropriated for Ukraine but not before you do me a personal favor… ” We still don’t know what Turkey’s Erdogan said in a Sunday night phone call that led Trump to withdraw our troops out of southern Syria hastily over the next two days.
The FBI counter-intelligence unit knows better than anyone that Trump has and always will be a major security risk. One simply hopes that they’ve watched Trump very closely since Trump has been out of office.
It is odd. Jared Kushner, the husband of Trump’s favorite daughter, starts an investment firm with no experience. The firm is suddenly endowed with $2 billion in Saudi money. Greg Sargent says that based on all the reporting, it is obvious that at least one informant is very close to Trump. Interestingly, the raid came days after Trump hosted the Saudis at his Bedminster club for their LIV Tour golf tournament. That is quite a rabbit hole, yet some of it is too plausible. Trump did, after all, have a reason to take this big a risk in holding those documents.
Perhaps that is why the most obvious explanation for keeping the documents hasn’t been discussed much. What does the country do if Trump is basically a Rosenberg?
@JasonMiciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, and currently studies philosophy of science, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.