Donald Trump stands awkwardly and yells.

Trump Allegedly Babbled Nuclear Secrets to a Random Australian Billionaire

Trump is a national security risk. We have seen that he has treated classified documents the same way you or I would treat scraps of paper that we scribbled meaningless nothings on. We have seen that he is willing to rile his fans up into a frenzy so powerful and dangerous that people actually die. And now we are getting more details of the extent of his recklessness.

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Donald Trump allegedly discussed some potentially sensitive information with a member of his Mar-a-Lago Club. It is being reported that he disclosed secrets about U.S. nuclear submarines to an Australian billionaire named Anthony Pratt. Special counsel Jack Smith’s team uncovered information that also alleges this billionaire told the secrets to many others, including over a dozen foreign officials, some of his employees, and even reporters. 

Before I get into even more of the specific details being revealed, it is important to step back and remind ourselves of what this means in the big picture. Only a few people are able to have information about secrets involving the U.S. government and certainly involving anything nuclear. It is not enough to say—as some will—that oh, maybe Trump isn’t aware of these rules. But being too ignorant to do his job is not a satisfactory defense! If you cannot do the job then you shouldn’t be President, and part of that job is to protect the United States’ security; in fact, that is arguably the most important aspect of the position. Trump can’t even pretend to care.

Federal prosecutors spoke to Pratt, who runs Pratt Industries, one of the world’s largest packaging companies. In April 2021, he alleged that he was discussing submarine fleets with the former President. Pratt brought up how he thought Australia should start buying their submarines from America and Trump got excited. He leaned in and allegedly told Pratt two pieces of secretive information. One was about the exact number of nuclear warheads they carry and the other was how close they can get to a Russian submarine without detection. In total, it is believed that Pratt then told these secrets to over 45 people. It is not known yet if the information Trump allegedly gave was actually accurate, but according to investigators, at least one witness said they heard Pratt telling someone else what he was just told within minutes of his conversation with Trump. And regardless of the accuracy of such information, this witness said they were “bothered” and “shocked” to learn that the President would say such things, especially to a non-U.S. citizen.

Pratt has said that he disclosed the information because he wanted to show that he was advocating for Australia and that some of the recipients were involved in submarine negotiations with the Biden administration. Turns out, a deal was reached earlier this year which involved Australia agreeing to purchase three nuclear-powered submarines from the United States. President Biden has confirmed that none of these will be armed with nukes. Good!

This specific example helps illustrate why Jack Smith’s classified documents case is so important. The complexity of stuff like security clearances, levels of classifications, and the nature of handling documents generally, can be confusing for most individuals. But I think breaking down this Pratt situation shows the intermixing between Presidential power and what happens when you have someone who has no respect for that. Trump’s inability to keep his mouth shut can have real-world implications. There will undoubtedly be more specific information revealed about what he has disclosed and to whom, and I think it will only get scarier.

(featured image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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