Foreign Policy

Donald Trump is a National Security Risk. Here’s the current #TrumpThreatLevel.


From his tweets to his bluster to his white supremacist policies, Donald Trump poses a security risk to the United States. He is actively making us less safe with each day in office. Here is a running list of just some of the ways he has threatened our safety.

  • Trump announced this week that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This was a reckless move that isolates the United States from allies, threatens chances for successful peace talks, and raises the risk of tension and violence in the region.
  • The Trump administration took two other steps this week that further isolated us from our allies and eroded international norms. The Pentagon changed its policy and decided to embrace cluster munitions, a weapons system that has been banned by the global community. The administration also pulled the United States out of a United Nations project to create more humane conditions for immigrants and refugees.
  • The administration continues to gut the State Department, as diplomats leave in droves. African-American, Latinx, and female diplomats in particular have been forced out, which will take decades to reverse.
  • The Pentagon has been deceiving us about troop levels in Syria. Finally, the Administration has acknowledged that we have more than 2,000 troops in Syria—more than four times the number that they previously said were on the ground.
  • Trump is only making the North Korea situation worse. On November 28, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a greater range than any previous missile—great enough to hit the East Coast of the United States. We can’t stress this enough: Trump needs to learn that angrily tweeting at other world leaders is not a suitable alternative to smart, reasoned diplomacy.
  • Meanwhile, he’s driving our allies away and making us vulnerable to attack. On November 29, Trump retweeted bigoted anti-Muslim videos that generated from the fascist, violent “Britain First” movement. This ramped up racial and religious tensions, drew a rare rebuke from our allies in the UK, and provoked fears that there could be violent reactions at US embassies around the world.
  • Putting torture advocates in positions of power. The Senate confirmed Steven Bradbury to be a top lawyer in Trump's administration. Bradbury is a war criminal who helped the Bush administration get away with illegal torture. Trump’s decision to tap him to serve demonstrates the administration’s lack of commitment to protecting human rights, putting us all at risk.
  • Leaving us behind on climate. Syria signed the Paris Climate Change Accord on November 7, leaving the United States as the only nation that is not a signatory. Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our communities, and Trump’s isolation of the United States on the issue is embarrassing. His White House also pitched "clean coal" at the Bonn Climate Change Conference, drawing protest and ridicule.
  • Freezing relations with Cuba. Trump issued an executive order this past week rolling back some of President Obama’s efforts to restore diplomatic ties, travel and trade with Cuba -- widely regarded as a major foreign policy success. Trump now wants to roll back those successes and further isolate the US, just out of spite.
  • Trump is trying to use the tragedy in New York to push his white supremacist agenda. He has already responded by tweeting about his Muslim ban, the need for even more “extreme vetting,” and a call to crack down on immigration. He is making us less safe: Tell your MoCs not to let Trump exploit this tragedy.
  • Trump is trying to muddy the water on Russia. Two former Trump associates, including campaign chairman Paul Manafort, have been indicted on charges including conspiracy against the United States. This development is the latest evidence that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation continues to get closer to the truth. Tell your MoC to protect Mueller from being fired by Trump.
  • Trump is leaving critical diplomatic posts empty. In a Fox News interview on November 2, Trump responded to a question about vacancies at the State Department by saying that he isn’t worried because “the one that matters is me. I am the only one that matters." Trump’s failure to make these appointments leaves us vulnerable to global security threats.
  • Failing to take responsibility for life and death military decisions. On October 4, four American service members died in Niger. It took Trump 12 days to comment publicly on the soldiers’ deaths, and when he was asked about the deaths at a press conference, he resorted to falsely accusing former President Obama of not calling families of the fallen. Trump then deflected responsibility, denying he ordered the mission in Niger at all, passing the blame to his generals.
  • Feuding with the grieving widow of a fallen soldier. Trump spent weeks publicly fighting with the wife of fallen soldier La David Johnson, after insulting her in a phone call overheard by Rep. Federica Wilson. Rather than working to extend his sincere condolences as Commander-in-Chief, Trump continues to use his power to harass and discredit both the Congresswoman and Ms. Johnson.
  • Targeting refugees from 11 countries  as an extension of his Muslim Ban. Trump issued a new executive order that tightens restrictions on refugees fleeing from 11 countries - a list that overlaps significantly with his unconstitutional Muslim Ban. It’s clearer than ever that these actions are about enacting his Islamophobic, white-supremacist vision for America and not about protecting our national security.
  • Trump’s pathetic response to the the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Trump declined to denounce this as an act of terror or to propose credible solutions to end gun violence. It’s clear that Trump didn’t take this tragedy seriously, as he actively refused to support common sense gun safety measures in response. Compare that with his vicious overreaction to the San Bernardino shooting in which he proposed banning all Muslims from the U.S. It’s yet another example of Trump’s white supremacy on display, and how he’s actively making us less safe.
  • Taking us closer to war with Iran. Trump announced on October 13, 2017 that he wants to rip up the Iran nuclear deal that President Obama put in place. This historic achievement keeps a nuclear weapon out of Iran’s hands, and if Trump is successful in killing the deal, we will be facing another North Korea situation and a likely new war.
  • Failing to equip our diplomats. Despite spending plenty of time attempting to ban an entire religion from traveling to the United States, and talking about building a useless wall, Trump has so far failed to appoint qualified, career diplomats to key positions that help keep us safe. As just one example, in the midst of escalating tensions on global security, nuclear weapons and more, Trump has not nominated an Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs - that’s unacceptable.
  • Expanding the Muslim Ban. Despite the many losses he has faced in court, Trump has continued to push forward with more and more versions of his “Muslim Ban.” This hateful and unconstitutional policy is a Muslim ban, no matter how many changes he makes. It emboldens bigots in the US and stokes anti-American sentiment abroad, and focuses security resources on meaningless screening procedures instead of focusing on real threats.
  • Gutting funding for peace but ramping up spending for war. Trump’s budget proposed slashing funding for U.S. diplomacy and international aid, in exchange for bloated military and border security spending. We don’t need a wall or a giveaway to war profiteers - we need smart and measured diplomacy.
  • Ignoring cybersecurity experts. Eight members of the White House’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council resigned in August, citing Trump’s actions that “threaten the security of the homeland.”
  • Recklessly exposing classified information. Trump has proven time and again he can’t be trusted to keep secrets. From spilling information to Russians in the Oval Office to conducting a sensitive meeting about North Korea in public at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s recklessness is dangerous.
  • Slashing refugees admitted into U.S. Trump has consistently scapegoated refugees, ramping up the idea that they are dangerous. His administration made that rhetoric reality by slashing the maximum amount of refugees allowed into the US down to the lowest level in decades. This shows our international partners that we can’t be counted upon to help solve the global refugee crisis, contributes to right-wing fearmongering about refugees, and inflames racial tensions.
  • Pulling us out of the Paris Climate Agreement. With his dramatic declaration that the United States would pull out of this historic global partnership on climate change, Trump signaled to the world that the United States can’t be counted on as a partner, and that we don’t take climate change - a major security threat - seriously.
  • Insulting our international friends and allies. Trump has frequently insulted and embarrassed key world leaders, including the prime minister of Australia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the mayor of London. He’s embarrassed us on the world stage and harmed our international relations.
  • Voicing support for war crimes. Trump often suggests that the U.S. should engage in atrocities in order to display their strength and fight terror - sometimes spreading debunked fake stories in the process. From “bombing the shit” out of people to “taking out” terror suspect’s families, to assassinating Muslims with pigs’ blood-soaked bullets - Trump is using his platform of power to support the kinds of human rights violations that the global community has been working to eliminate for decades.
  • Saying “torture works.” Even though torture is totally illegal, immoral, and counterproductive, Trump used a major media platform to say “torture works” and he has frequently discussed his fantasy of “fighting fire with fire” and “doing things that are unthinkable almost.” This makes us less safe, damages international norms, and gives extremists plenty of propaganda material.
  • Emboldening anti-Muslim and other hate speech. Trump consistently fails to speak out when marginalized communities are threatened or harmed, and refuses to unequivocally condemn white supremacy, choosing instead to say that blame exists “on many sides.” These messages from the highest office in the United States have an effect - hate crimes are on the rise as extremists feel emboldened by Trump’s words.
  • Leaving open the possibility that even Americans could be thrown in Guantanamo. Trump pledged to “load [Guantanamo] up with bad dudes,” a massive mistake in and of itself, as the notorious site of torture and indefinite detention continues to pose a human rights crisis and opens the U.S. up to security threats. But Trump has indicated that maybe a U.S. citizen could go to Guantanamo - not a remote possibility, as under Trump we are currently holding a U.S. citizen in secret military detention. It should be obvious how wildly unconstitutional this would be - and how it would put us all at risk.
  • Ramping up civilian casualties. From his first botched Yemen raid to the “Mother of All Bombs” dropped on Afghanistan, Trump has demonstrated callous disregard for civilian lives trapped in conflict due to U.S. military force. National security experts - as well as settled international legal norms - tell us this is wrongheaded, and increases anti-American sentiment and makes us more prone to blowback and further violence.
  • Planning to further roll back protections for civilians. We’ve already seen how reckless Trump is with the protections that currently exist - it’s downright scary to think of the damage he can do if he follows through on repealing Obama-era rules protecting civilians in the U.S. “global war.”
  • Providing the weapons for atrocities. Trump secured a massive $110 billion deal with Saudi Arabia in exchange for heavy military machinery - which the Saudis will use to commit war crimes in Yemen. This means that, in exchange to Trump’s own global military expedition, he’s comfortable with the U.S. being complicit in other nations’ war crimes.
  • Launching a missile strike in Syria without congressional authorization or a strategy. On April 6, 2017, Donald Trump stunned the nation by unilaterally launching missile strikes against a Syrian base with no Congressional authorization, no explanation of his legal justification prior to the attack, and no apparent strategy for what happens next.
  • Scoffing at Russia’s interference in our democracy. Even as special counsel Mueller and several congressional committees deeply investigate the role that Russian interference played in our elections (and the Trump campaign’s collusion), Trump himself continues to call the situation a “hoax,” and appears totally indifferent to these threats to our democracy.
  • Banning transgender people from the military. Trump has made moves to impose a “trans ban” on the U.S. military, which experts say harms national security by creating unnecessary vacancies and damaging morale.