David Frum: Trump Should Resign Because Of Incompetence, Sloppiness, Servility To Russians


CNN's Chris Cuomo brings up "questions" about President Trump's "competence" in an interview with Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord and anti-Trump Republican David Frum. Frum said Trump should resign due to "incompetence, through sloppiness, [and] through servility to the Russians."

"The president should resign," Frum stated. "Trough incompetence, through sloppiness, through servility to the Russians, he betrayed an American national secret. That means in his own mind, he should understand that he has proved himself unworthy of the position he's in."

From Tuesday's broadcast of CNN's New Day:

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. This latest self-imposed and perhaps most egregious error by the president is sparking all kinds of questions about competence. Was his inability to protect highly classified information with Russian diplomats a sign that he's not up to the job. There's a "New York Times" op-ed you should read for your self from David Brooks.

The headline is this, when the world is led by a child. It says, quote: From all we know so far Trump didn't do it, talking about the classified information, because he's a Russian agent or from any malevolent intent, he did it because he is sloppy, because he lacks impulse control. And above all, because he is a 7-year-old boy desperate for the approval of those he admires.

Let's discuss. Jeffrey Lord, CNN political commentator and former Reagan White House official, and David Frum, senior editor at "The Atlantic".

Jeffrey Lord --


CUOMO: -- I'm sure that you have a robust defense for why this is a nonstory and this criticism of the president is unwarranted.

So, give it to us.

LORD: OK. The only thing I would say here, Chris is perspective. Perspective is all.

I'm holding here two headlines from "Washington Post," one of May 25th, 2014. White House mistakenly identifies CIA chief in Afghanistan. The Obama administration put the name of the CIA station chief on the press release, exposed him and endangered his life.

The second one, June 30th, 2016, U.S. offers to share Syrian intelligence on terrorist with Russia, which is to say the Obama administration wanted to give their intelligence to the Russians.

All I'm saying here is there's perspective. We need to find out the facts and let's have perspective.

With all due respect to David Brooks, he's a never Trumper. And that's fine. But, you know, from that perspective, Donald Trump isn't going to do anything David Brooks like. As I remember famously with David Brooks, he was certain senator Obama would be a great president because of the crease in his slacks.

I mean, with all due respect --

CUOMO: That was a rhetorical flourish from Brooks, but let's put that to the side, you've made your point.

David Frum, are any of your concerns mollified by what Jeffrey was said.

DAVID FRUM, THE ATLANTIC: It only gets worse.

The president is not a child. Children are loveable. And the president was not just making a mistake. This particular mistake could not have been made I think with the ambassador from any country other than Russia. Donald Trump was unusually ingratiating and servile with Russians as he so often is, for reasons that we can only begin to surmise but that cannot be good.

In a parliamentary system, we would today be discussing the resignation expected today of that prime minister who betrayed a national secret through inadvertence. That mistakes are not more forgivable in this context. The president won't resign. But the fact is he smashed his legitimacy and authority and consequences will be severe.

CUOMO: David, quick follow-up on that. You have tweeted that the president should resign. Why such an extreme conclusion?

FRUM: As I said, in any other fellow democracy right now, the head of government would be on his or her way to a resignation, through -- by making such a mistake. This is happening with cabinet secretaries, parliamentary systems when they inadvertently betray high secrets they do resign. That is the penalty. They have forfeited their right to have access to national secrets.

The president should resign because -- through incompetence, through sloppiness, through servility to the Russians, he betrayed an American national secret. That means in his own mind, he should understand that he has proved himself unworthy of the position he's in.

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