Learning to do the job of President of the United States starts long before election night. Presidential candidates are subject to significant changes in their life beyond the changes they experience on the campaign trail, some of which are deeply surprising to average American citizens.

Security Briefings and Presidential Candidates

One of the standard practices for presidential candidates surrounds security briefings. The President of the United States is both the head of the government, and essentially the director all things security and military. Nothing happens regarding the safety of the United States without first passing across the president’s desk.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

This intensity of security means that any candidate who wants to take on the job of president must be accustomed to making difficult decisions regarding information that comes before them. While presidential candidates are, of course, not the ones who ultimately make the choices regarding national security – yet – it’s important to practice hearing the information and considering the different options.

Even More Important Right Now

Additionally, in times as politically tense as they are right now on the worldwide stage, it’s even more imperative for presidential candidates to have the most up-to-date information regarding national security. While candidates are not allowed to hear the most confidential of information, of course, they are still given significantly more than the average American citizen.

Source: Wikimedia/Ali Shaker/VOA

Some of this information, while not confidential, is deeply technical. It regards the political state of other countries, the decisions that are facing the United States military as a result of intelligence operations, and more. It requires attention and understanding to comprehend, which many candidates take as seriously as it’s meant to.

Donald Trump Doesn’t Care About Security

Unfortunately, there are some individuals who don’t take the national security of the United States as seriously as they ought to. Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee for the Republican party, is one individual whose concern about national security appears to be lacking.

Source: Wikimedia/Kurdistan Region Presidency

Politico recently reported that intelligence individuals were beginning the early stages of preparing security briefings for Trump, should he be formally nominated for the Republican party at the Republican National Convention this summer.

The Classified Documents Case

This reporting comes in spite of concerns regarding Trump’s former handling of national security matters. Trump is currently under indictment in Florida for his handling of secure documents which he allegedly took from the White House after leaving the presidency in 2020.

Source: Wikimedia/United States Department of Justice

It has been alleged that Trump shared significant confidential security matters with individuals who had no clearance to view them, and that he kept these documents with confidential information long after he should have returned them to the United States Archives. Trump has claimed innocence regarding these claims, stating that any of the papers that he took her rightfully his under the Presidential Records Act.

In Contradiction to the Presidential Records Act

Of course, this claim is entirely false under the text of said Act. The Presidential Records Act clearly states that any papers and documents regarding the president’s office become the property of the United States Archives after a president leaves office, not the personal property of the former president himself.

Source: Wikimedia/United States Department of Justice

The fact that Trump is currently under indictment for his mishandling of classified documents has raised serious concerns regarding his ability to keep national secrets quiet, should he become the nominee for president.

Many Are Concerned About Trump

It became standard practice for presidential nominees to be privy to security briefings in 1952, but should Trump be the nominee, it would be the first time that an administration had shared classified information with a candidate who was facing criminal charges.

Source: Wikimedia/Shaleah Craighead

Because of this, there are some who have publicly stated that they hope that Trump is not given any more information during these briefings than necessary – if he ultimately is privy to these briefings at all. The former president has, in many people’s eyes, proven that he cannot be trusted with national security secrets, which has led to this massive concern on the part of both legislatures and average Americans.

Adam Schiff Coming Out Against Trump

California Democrat Adam Schiff is one individual who has come out against the former president receiving security briefings in a very public way. Schiff was once the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, until he was removed from that position by then-Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

“I have to hope – and knowing the intelligence community, as I do – that they will dumb down the briefing for Donald Trump. That is, they will give him no more information than absolutely necessary,” Schiff recently said, in an interview on NBC.

In Line With Former Practices

“Dumbing down” the briefings for Trump would fall in line with what has been reported regarding Trump security briefings in the past. Even during his presidency, it was reported that Trump had a difficult time following the security briefings, and that he wouldn’t pay attention.

Source: Youtube/NBC News

It was reported that this was because Trump seemed less than interested in the context of these briefings, and that he preferred to get his news “from TV.” Trump famously got most of his news from far-right television programs like Fox News and OANN, and apparently disregarded much of the information that was given to him by his security staff in favor of sensationalized news sources.

“We Can’t Trust Him”

Schiff clarified what he meant in his interview, going further. He stated that, given Trump’s track records regarding classified documents, “We can’t trust that he will do the right thing with the information. He’s been so reckless.”

Source: Youtube/NBC News

This comment is, of course, in reference to the classified documents case against Trump in Florida. Trump has been charged with 40 felony counts of, among other things, concealing classified information and conspiracy to alter or destroy classified information, the indictment of which took place more than three years after Trump left office.

More Details of the Documents Case

Among other things, Trump is also believed to have shared national security secrets with individuals who came to visit him at Mar-A-Lago. He allegedly did this during the months and years that he stored more than 13,000 documents at his Florida home.

Source: Wikimedia/United States Department of Justice

Even if the allegations of Trump deliberately sharing information turn out to be false, the state in which many of the documents were found in Florida was as insecure as it could be. One of the most famous photos regarding the documents investigation shows document boxes behind a curtain in a bathroom at Mar-A-Lago, where anybody who visited the property could have seen them or taken a look.

Many Believe Trump Cannot Be Trusted

While the court proceedings regarding the documents case are still underway, there are many who believe that Trump cannot be trusted with any national security secrets while the case is ongoing. And, there are many who believe that Trump cannot be trusted secrets of national importance, period.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

The DNC and President’s Biden’s campaign have even used this particular case in their marketing against former President Trump. The claim that Trump cannot be trusted with national security is a powerful one when addressing moderate Republican and Independent voters, and the DNC has focused on that selling point when making the case that Biden is the only man to continue in the President’s chair.

Trump is Unbothered

Trump appears unbothered by the claims that he cannot be trusted with national security matters. Through the entirety of the documents case, he’s claimed that the documents were his to keep, and has doubled down on the idea that he can do whatever he wants as the former president, and that any indictments against him have been politically, rather than criminally, motivated.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

It’s a viewpoint that many disagree with Schiff being one of the staunchest critics against the former president. He is currently running for the Senate seat that was left open by former Senator Dianne Feinstein, who passed away in the fall of last year. If he wins, he’ll help maintain the balance of Democratic power in the Senate, and should Donald Trump win, would be a key player in maintaining the checks and balances against the executive branch.

Trump’s Chances of Winning

Public opinion, unfortunately, is not the court of legal opinion, and unless Trump is formally found guilty in any of the cases against him, he has a chance of being elected back to the White House.

Source: Wikimedia/Kevin McCarthy

This means that Trump could, possibly, be at the helm of more national security briefings that he has no interest in, and could be allowed to see information that would be deadly in the hands of our enemies. It’s a challenging rope to walk for Republicans who want to see a Republican in office but not Trump, and one that they’ll have to reckon with this fall when Trump and Biden face off at the ballot box yet again.