To the editor: On the 117th day of Donald Trump's administration, Americans learned that their president revealed highly classified intelligence to the Russian officials visiting him in the Oval Office on May 10. After his surrogates issued general denials without taking questions, the president admitted that he had revealed the sensitive information and had the absolute right to do so. ("Trump admits sharing information with Russia about terror threat," May 16)
The classified information reportedly came from a U.S. ally with the understanding that it not be shared. Foreign governments that share information with the United States will now consider cutting off access.
While denying access to U.S. media, Trump allowed the Russian ambassador, the foreign minister and their photographer into the Oval Office, where he blurted out top-secret information. Trump clearly does not understand the meaning of the words "confidential" or "classified," the same allegation he previously used to attack Hillary Clinton.
On the campaign trail, Trump questioned whether Clinton should receive security briefings, and now this is a proper question to ask of the president. Can he be trusted with the nuclear codes?
Richard C. Armendariz, Huntington Beach
To the editor: Lies. Leaks. Lunacy.
Every day it seems as if there is a new shock and cover-up coming from this White House. It has become abundantly clear that Trump is incapable of leading our country:
- He is a perpetual liar, a dangerous liar, a remorseless liar.
- His staff can no longer function because of his lies and inability to control his enormous ego.
- He is destroying our institutions. He loves strongmen and despots. He shows no understanding of or respect for our Constitution.
- He is so busy glorifying and promoting himself and his brand that he has become incapable of protecting our country and guarding our intelligence community.
- His lack of bridge-building with vital members of Congress, his never-ending tweets and his bombast are making him the grave concern of the world.
- He is a danger to our security.
Trump must go. He is a huge liability to our country.
Bette Mason, Corona del Mar
To the editor: During last year's presidential campaign, candidate Trump said he was so popular he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose voters.
Now jump ahead to President Trump sharing highly classified information to a foreign adversary in the Oval Office last week. Did the commander in chief shoot himself in the foot?
I don't know the answer to that question, but I do know this: Americans of all political persuasions deserve to know how this happened and what can be done to ensure it never happens again.
Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach
To the editor: So the con man has been conned.
The man who conned the American people into electing him president and wanted to put Clinton in prison for her email negligence has deliberately given away highly protected intelligence to Russia. Because of Trump's infatuation with Russia and his lack of discipline, he was drawn into the Russians' confidence and gave away state secrets just to prove what a great guy he is.
What's next? Will Trump hand off the nuclear football to Russia to demonstrate his earnestness?
Bernard Roth, Santa Barbara
To the editor: Liberals such as Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe and Rep. Al Green (R-Texas) have called for impeaching Trump. The grounds suggested are:
- Violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by accepting things of value from foreign governments.
- Obstruction of justice by firing FBI Director James Comey, the man who was leading an investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia.
- Irresponsibly (although legally) disclosing classified information to Russia.
Ironically ,Republicans would do well to cooperate because the conviction of Trump would make Mike Pence president, who is much more in tune with the Republican agenda than Trump. Pence also comes without Trump's baggage.
The Democrats could lose by winning.
Rick Dunn, San Diego