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.

  • Escalating tensions with North Korea. Trump continues to tweet insults and threats at North Korea, including saying that North Korea “won’t be around much longer” and scoffing at the idea of diplomacy. North Korea has indicated that they consider these statements a “declaration of war.”
  • Taking us closer to war with Iran. Trump has made it very clear 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.