Joe HonickJoe Honick

Americans are a tolerant people. We are so tolerant we simply accept that anyone, no matter his record in business or life, is automatically entitled to all the top-secret data of the nation by becoming president.

But how do we know the person in the White House would pass the extremely rigorous FBI probes that all others involved in classified duties must face?  Answer: we don't.

Recent presidents have had to go through a variety of clearances….President Obama as a Senator, George W. Bush  as Governor, Bill Clinton as Governor and George H.W. Bush as CIA Director.

But Donald Trump has no such record. Does he measure up?

His election opponents from both parties did in fact have official clearances on their records.

Lack of clearance was no small matter when allegations arose that Trump revealed classified information to Russia's foreign minister and Russian ambassador in May during his visit to the White House.  

Most recently, a Trump tweet this month seemed to confirm a secret CIA operation in Syria designed to topple Assad. 

And then there is the Donald Trump, Jr. mess. Junior and a cast of others met with an influential Russian lawyer and lobbyist, and the Senior now is said to have dictated the response as to the content of that meeting even though he was not there.

It is a reasonable question to ask simply how someone, just for having won the majority of Electoral College voters, automatically became cleared to see the most classified secrets of this nation.

Presidents, like all other government officials who handle the nation's secrets, should be vetted for clearance.


Joseph J. Honick is an international consultant to business and government and writes for many publications.  He can be reached at