Hypocrisy is everywhere when it comes to the media’s current treatment of Donald Trump compared to their treatment of Barack Obama during his term; there is no better display than the media’s rush to justifiably chastise Trump for revealing classified information to Russian officials compared to their insouciance when Obama shared classified information with Russia.
That must be the reason network anchors such as Matt Lauer of NBC and Chris Cuomo of CNN reacted with surprise when they were confronted by political analyst Jeffrey Lord and security analyst Juan Zarate, who apprised them of the history of the Obama White House exposing a CIA chief in Afghanistan and also sharing intelligence regarding Syria with Russia.
Here was the relevant part of the exchange Zarate had with Lauer on Tuesday:
Lauer: Can you just clarify something? This concerns an ISIS plot. The Russians are supposed to be our partners in fighting ISIS. So explain why sharing of information with them is so dangerous.
Zarate: Well, two reasons. First of all, I think the President may think that he’s trying to create some degree of trust, maybe trying to create some cooperation on the ground. That may be in the back of his mind. The problem is the Russians aren’t trustworthy. The Russians have proven that when we’ve provided information in the past, they’ve used it against us.
Back in the summer of 2016, the Obama administration provided some information to the Russians about some of the things happening on the ground. Guess what happened? The Russians then attacked some of those sites of our allies, our proxies that we were working with. And that’s a problem.
And I think part of the challenge here is, how much can we trust the Russians? What you’re seeing here is a deficit of trust, a deficit of discipline, I think, on the part of the President.
And here’s the relevant exchange Lord had with Cuomo:
Cuomo: All right. This latest self-imposed and perhaps most egregious error by the president is sparking all kinds of questions about competence, was his inability to protect highly classified information with Russian diplomats a sign that he's not up to the job. There's a New York Times op-ed you should read for your self from David Brooks. The headline is this, when the world is led by a child. It says, quote, “From all we know so far, Trump didn't do it,” talking about the classified information, “because he's a Russian agent or from any malevolent intent. He did it because he is sloppy, because he lacks all impulse control, and above all because he is a 7-year-old boy desperate for the approval of those he admires.” Let’s discuss Jeffrey Lord, former commentator and White House official and David from senior editor at the Atlantic. Jeffrey, I'm sure you have a robust defense for why this is a nor his criticism of the president is unwarranted so give it to us.
Lord: Okay. The only thing I would say here, Chris is perspective. Perspective is all. I'm holding two headlines from the Washington Post, one of May 25, 2014, “White House mistakenly identifies CIA chief in Afghanistan.” The Obama administration put the name of the CIA on the press release, exposed him and endangered his life. The second one, June 30, 2016, "U.S. Offers to share Syrian intelligence on terrorist with Russia," which is to say the Obama administration wanted to give their intelligence to the Russians. All I'm saying here is there's perspective. We need to find out the facts and let's have perspective. With all respect to David Brooks he's a never-Trumper. That's fine. But from that perspective, Donald Trump isn't going to do anything David Brooks likes. As I remember famously with David Brooks, he was certain Senator Obama would be a great president because of the crease in his slacks.
Video of Zarate and Lord below: