Mar-a-Lago highlights Trump’s incompetence

Trump has made a mockery of America, placing national security on the back burner

Natasha Heisenberg, Staff Columnist

In the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, then-candidate Donald Trump rallied supporters with “Hillary for Prison” and “lock her up” chants that echoed throughout a sea of red MAGA caps. Fueling crowds with cries over Clinton’s emails, Trump ran on a platform centered around the mishandling of sensitive information. Yet, on Tuesday, Aug. 30, the former president was found to be in the possession of hundreds of highly classified documents pertaining to U.S. intelligence at his Florida residence.

An FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate revealed that the documents — which were stored in a room accessed by an unknown group of individuals — contained information regarding foreign assets and other pivotal areas of U.S. involvement. The files, which divulge some of the most highly classified material kept by the federal government, were merely one door away from the bustling golf resort and hotel. The Mar-a-Lago Club, which evidently betrays the criteria for the storage of classified information, represents an explicitly unauthorized location for the files in question.

This recent development in the ongoing investigation surrounding Trump epitomizes the blatant incompetency that he has exhibited over the course of his presidency and in the following years. From inciting an insurrection that jeopardized the nation’s democracy to harboring classified documents in a private residence, the lengths to which Trump has stretched the foundations of the government have far surpassed any imaginable boundaries. Yet, as the Department of Justice continues to delve into the shadows of Trump’s past, the list of egregious actions perpetrated by him and his campaign is almost certain to grow.

During the time that these documents were stored in Mar-a-Lago, countless Republican officials and political candidates passed through the estate without documented security proceedings. Mar-a-Lago, described as a “counterintelligence nightmare” by the former head of U.S. counterintelligence Joel Brenner, has been criticized for serving as a gathering site for individuals under scrutiny, and oftentimes, investigation. 

Throughout his presidency, Trump garnered criticism for frequenting Mar-a-Lago while he was thought to be at the White House or conducting business in Washington, D.C. Thus, the discovery of these documents symbolizes the degree of neglect that he showed toward the highest position of power in the United States.

The FBI’s discovery underscores the importance of electing an individual with knowledge of how the government operates and who is capable and deserving of leading the United States. At its most basic level, allowing someone access to classified information without any understanding of the implications of such material is dangerous, and poses a severe threat to the country.

Furthermore, Trump’s unwillingness to cooperate with federal investigators suggests a guilt that transcends any indiscretion. Though officials have released information regarding these files to the public, there has not yet been a sigh of relief signaling that the tribulations have ceased.

As the 2022 midterm elections rapidly approach, the question of presidential candidates for the 2024 general election is no longer a distant thought. Trump, who has remained a consistent point of intense controversy, has not denied the possibility that he will run for a second term in the next two years.

Trump has shown time and time again that he is not above meddling with the tenets of this country — the same tenets that he continues to utilize as a means to exploit his supporters.

The warning bells have been ringing since before 2016, when Trump entered the political stage in an abrasive and insulting manner. The findings from Mar-a-Lago only exacerbate the extent to which Trump has made a mockery of America, and how he has ultimately placed the nation’s security on the back burner as he seeks to evade the law and profit off of his political standing.