The explosive, seven-page National Security memo that led to the firing of former staffer Rich Higgins last month is the proverbial gift that keeps on giving.
Following earlier reports that detailed its more alarming components, Foreign Policy on Thursday got its hands on a full transcript of the memo and published it online. In addition to radical language and the myriad references to “deep state” conspiracies and government subversion, the memo also unintentionally exposed the remaining close ties between the Trump administration and the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., a supposed outsider with no formal White House title.
According to two sources who spoke with the outlet, Trump Jr. was one of the people who received the emailed memo, despite not having the proper security clearance or any official position in the Trump administration that would warrant such a transmission. (It wasn’t exactly clear whether Higgins had intended to include him on the list of recipients.) Trump Jr. later passed the message to his father, who reportedly “gushed over it.”
Aside from the obvious security issues surrounding a non-NSC staffer being privy to internal communications, the fact that Trump Jr. then relayed the message to his father flies in the face of the president’s earlier promises to keep his business ties and White House duties separate.
Trump initially claimed that his two sons would solely be responsible for running the Trump Organization empire and would not be party to any official government business, for ethics reasons, after he became president. Of course, the lines soon began to blur.
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Image: Gage Skidmore