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



By Steve Holland and Karen Freifeld

WASHINGTON, Aug 13 (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.

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.



EXPLAINER-What charges might Trump face for having classified
documents?

FBI searches Trump's Florida home as part of presidential records probe

EXPLAINER-Trump says FBI is raiding his Florida estate. What legal woes does he face?

Trump revealed intelligence secrets to Russians in Oval Office: officials Link



Reporting By Steve Holland and Karen Freifeld; Editing by Heather Timmons, William Mallard and Daniel Wallis

免責聲明: XM Group提供線上交易平台的登入和執行服務,允許個人查看和/或使用網站所提供的內容,但不進行任何更改或擴展其服務和訪問權限,並受以下條款與條例約束:(i)條款與條例;(ii)風險提示;(iii)完全免責聲明。網站內部所提供的所有資訊,僅限於一般資訊用途。請注意,我們所有的線上交易平台內容並不構成,也不被視為進入金融市場交易的邀約或邀請 。金融市場交易會對您的投資帶來重大風險。

所有缐上交易平台所發佈的資料,僅適用於教育/資訊類用途,不包含也不應被視爲適用於金融、投資稅或交易相關諮詢和建議,或是交易價格紀錄,或是任何金融商品或非應邀途徑的金融相關優惠的交易邀約或邀請。

本網站的所有XM和第三方所提供的内容,包括意見、新聞、研究、分析、價格其他資訊和第三方網站鏈接,皆爲‘按原狀’,並作爲一般市場評論所提供,而非投資建議。請理解和接受,所有被歸類為投資研究範圍的相關内容,並非爲了促進投資研究獨立性,而根據法律要求所編寫,而是被視爲符合營銷傳播相關法律與法規所編寫的内容。請確保您已詳讀並完全理解我們的非獨立投資研究提示和風險提示資訊,相關詳情請點擊 這裡查看。

我們運用 cookies 提供您最佳之網頁使用經驗。更改您的cookie 設定跟詳情。

風險提示:您的資金存在風險。槓桿商品並不適合所有客戶。請詳細閱讀我們的風險聲明