Trump divulged secret location of US nuclear subs to Philippine president

A recently released transcript of Donald Trump’s April 29 phone call with Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte shows that Trump told Duterte that the US had moved two nuclear submarines to the vicinity of North Korea.

The location of US subs — which are built to be stealthy, that’s the entire nature of their deterrent capability — is generally not discussed publicly. And it’s certainly not with countries that aren’t our closest allies. (While the Philippines has been a longstanding US ally, Duterte is an autocratic murderer who has strained relations with the US in recent years.)

Republican defenders of Trump are trying to claim that the US military already outed the location of one of the subs, so no harm no foul. But that defense holds little water.  First, the US military wrote an article about the one sub docking in Japan three days AFTER Trump outed its secret location. So, Trump had already outed the secret by the time the US military acknowledged it.

Second, the sub was docking in a Japanese port. It’s location would be known anyway once it docked – you could literally see the sub with your own eyes – so it’s not unusual that the Pentagon would announce it.

What is unusual is announcing the sub’s location when it’s still 3 days out from port, operating in international waters on a mission. That’s when you want the sub hidden, and that’s when Trump outed it to the Philippines, and anyone else who was listening.

And third, there’s not been any public reporting on a second sub in the neighborhood, other than from Donald Trump.

Nancy Youssef at Buzzfeed reports that US officials were apoplectic over Trump’s latest security breach. “We never talk about subs,” the officials told Youssef.

Ironically, Trump is now doing in Asia what he accused President Obama of doing in the Middle East: announcing our moves publicly, and thus tipping off our adversaries.

Trump’s earlier loose-lips episode came when he was speaking with the Russian ambassador and foreign minister in the Oval Office the day after he fired FBI Director James Comey. Trump informed the Russians about Top Secret intelligence about ISIS, which was provided to him by the Israelis — intelligence the Israelis made us promise to share with no one, especially adversaries like the Russians. By sharing the Top Secret intel, Trump may have jeopardized the asset in the Middle East who got Israel the information.

It’s thought that Trump was trying to show off for the Russians, just as he was likely doing with Duterte. Yet another indication as to why Trump’s narcissism and insecurity are a dangerous mix for the leader of the free world.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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6 Responses to “Trump divulged secret location of US nuclear subs to Philippine president”

  1. Badgerite says:

    I’ve said it before and will say it again. trump is a POS. Always has been. Will continue to be.
    The GOP should be aware, this will not get better. He is in the process of doing what Putin wanted him to do which is damage our international alliances beyond repair. And betraying hard fought and won intelligence sources is forever.
    And we now know, that some of the Russian misinformation operation actually affected the decisions of Comey during the campaign. How the hell does this stand?

  2. Demosthenes says:

    Trump is a big mouth lacking in impulse control.

  3. Quilla says:

    Oy, indeed!

    It’s all mishegas and dolt45 is gornisht helfn. ;)

  4. MoonDragon says:

    Anyone who’s ever dealt with sensitive material understands that the biggest danger is the individual who doesn’t fully comprehend the significance of information being protected or the rationales behind the protections. Mr. Trump has shown himself to be disinclined to avail himself of information relevant to either consideration. His ego also prompts him to show off in front of the other world leaders.

  5. Zorba says:

    Oy, Quilla, can you just imagine what the Republicans would be saying and doing if Hillary was the President and had done even half the things Trump has done and said?
    The Repugs would not just be screaming for her head, they would have already instituted impeachment proceedings.

  6. Quilla says:

    Are we at Treason Level 1 yet?

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