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Trump’s information security controversies on a timeline

Many of Trump’s comments about his own administration have caused controversy



Trump’s focus on Clinton’s email practices during the 2016 presidential campaign prompted supporters to frequently chant, “Lock Her Up!” at his rallies.

Despite all of his talk about the importance of keeping secrets, Trump did a poor job of guarding sensitive information both while in office and after. It’s not the first time Trump has been accused of lax operational security or failing to adhere to presidential archiving standards; last week’s raid on his Florida home to retrieve documents reportedly tied to nuclear weapons was just the most recent and high-profile example.

In August 2016, Trump promised that his administration would strictly enforce all laws pertaining to the protection of classified information. The mishandling of classified information is now a felony punishable by up to five years in prison thanks to a law signed into law while Trump was in office.

Russia and Nuclear-powered Submarines in May 2017

Also in May, a transcript of a phone call between Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on April 29 was made public, in which Trump boasted that the United States maintained two nuclear submarines off the coast of the Korean Peninsula.


According to the transcript, Trump said, “We have two submarines — the best in the world.” There are two nuclear submarines in our fleet, not that we plan to use them.

A Kushner clearance was issued in May of this year.

Reportedly, Trump instructed his chief of staff to grant Jared Kushner security clearance despite concerns about Kushner’s ties to foreign governments and investors. In this case, the White House Counsel’s Office advised against giving Kushner clearance because he had not disclosed meeting with Russians on his initial questionnaire, but Trump ultimately overrode their recommendation.

Kushner’s international business dealings have received less attention from Trump than Hunter Biden’s have, despite the fact that they include a $2 billion investment from Saudi Arabia to help launch Kushner’s new wealth fund and a bailout of Kushner Industries’ struggling real estate investment at 666 Park Avenue by Qatar.

Iranian secret image from August 2019


According to reports, Trump’s daily intelligence briefing included a photo of a failed Iranian rocket launch, which he promptly tweeted.

Trump tweeted this image with the caption, “The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir [Space Launch Vehicle] Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran.” “May Iran find the answers it seeks to the mysteries of Site One quickly and easily.”

One satellite imagery analyst told NPR, “his post included some pretty amazing capabilities that the public simply wasn’t privy to before this,” expressing concern among intelligence experts that Trump had revealed previously undisclosed surveillance capabilities.

Unaccounted-for call records since January 2021

The White House’s call logs reportedly disappeared for seven hours in the middle of the violence in the U.S. Capitol in March, as reported by the Washington Post. A House select committee looking into the events of that day reportedly wanted to know if Trump had used “burner phones,” the phones of aides, or other back channels to avoid official logging of calls.


Drafted in August 2022, the documents will be flushed.

Photos published by the New York Times and Axios before documents were seized at Mar-a-Lago showed that Trump had torn up and flushed away evidence. U.S. presidents are obligated by the Presidential Records Act to make their correspondence, electronic files, and other official documents available to the public and permanent preservation at the National Archives.

According to a statement released by Trump in February, “Also, another fake story, that I flushed papers and documents down a White House toilet is categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book.”