KOTA KINABALU: A real estate agent broke into tears and knelt on the floor when the High Court acquitted him of a drug trafficking charge. Norain Lamilah, 55
Based on his past, could Donald Trump have secured top secret clearance if he had not been elected president?
To call that “unlikely” would be an understatement. There’s no chance in hell.
Let me give you a taste of the unbelievably long list of potentially disqualifying factors they could take issue with:
- Mob ties
- Financial issues (credit/debt)
- His credit is so bad no American bank will loan him anything
- Filed for bankruptcy for his companies 6 times
- In serious debt, owing hundreds of millions to both U.S. and foreign lenders
- Three different liens on his new Washington, D.C. hotel, including one for $5 million over failure to pay his contractors
- Criminal associates
- Felix Sater (convicted of violent and financial crimes)
- Joseph Weichselbaum (convicted of grand theft auto, embezzlement, drug trafficking)
- Tevfik Arif (allegedly ran a prostitution ring, technically acquitted)
- Andrew Stein (lied about a ponzi scheme, convicted for tax evasion)
- Michael Flynn (pleaded guilty of lying to FBI, getting leniency on other charges in exchange for cooperation)
- Paul Manafort (under federal indictments with 30 charges, including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money)
- Rick Gates (also under federal indictments for 30 charges, including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, some of which he’s already pleaded guilty to)
- George Papadopoulos (pleaded guilty of lying to FBI, awaiting sentencing)
- Michael Cohen (even before current legal troubles with regard to money laundering and campaign finance violations, he was connected with various insurance fraud schemes)
- The Kushners (related by marriage to a family with various legal troubles, including a conviction for serious financial crimes)
- plus all the folks included in the aforementioned mob ties
- Money Laundering
- His casino was fined $10 million for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, which they admitted to willfully violating
- All sorts of credible allegations of money laundering for Russians through more than one of his properties and businesses, including activities in New York, Florida, and Panama
- Paid $25 million to settle Trump University fraud case
- Investigated and sued for fraud by attorneys general of multiple states
- Accused of tax fraud by a Mexican government official
- Sued and criminally investigated for defrauding condo buyers, had to refund more than $3 million, plus pay an undisclosed settlement. Following the settlement, the people he paid refused to cooperate with the district attorney, so the criminal case was dropped
- Foreign financial ties, especially with people connected to the Russian government
- Suspicious political donations resembling bribery to escape prosecution
- Vulnerability to blackmail
- Civil Litigation
- Habitually fails to honor contracts and has been involved in a staggering 3,500 lawsuits — investigators are supposed to review every one!
- Sued by his own family members, not just his wives (and retaliated by cutting off medical treatment to critically ill infant)
- Disgusting treatment of his tenants
- Repeated run-ins with the law
- Found guilty of hiring/mistreating undocumented immigrants and had to pay $1 million
- Fined $750,000 by Federal Trade Commission & Justice Department over antitrust violations and disclosure rules
- Fined $15,000 by the Federal Election Commission for exceeding campaign contribution limits by $47,050, the largest violation in a single year.
- Fined $250,000 by the New York State lobbying commission for “failing to disclose the full extent of his lobbying of state legislators.”
- Skirted $50,000 campaign contribution limit by guaranteeing a $50,000 loan to New York politician and future convict Andrew Stein (which Trump later paid himself, even though, “or perhaps because he won”), in addition to another $50,000 he secretly split among 18 subsidiaries. When the New York State Commission on Government Integrity questioned him, he claimed he thought everyone knew the 18 companies were his, that he was just following lawyer advice, and that the loan was going to be paid back.
- His foundation admitted to illegal “self-dealing” and is under investigation by the State of New York(and possibly the IRS, but they can’t say if they’re investigating)
- Apparently violated the Cuba embargo
- Caught colluding in a tax evasion scam in 1986, testified against others so he wouldn’t be prosecuted
- Paid a $250,000 fine after an investigation uncovered how he secretly ran an “ad campaign insinuating that an American Indian tribe threatening his casinos had ties to drugs and the Mafia.”
- Violated the Fair Housing Act
- Received an illegal loan worth millions of dollars, in violation of gaming laws
- Violated anti-discrimination laws, fined $200,000 by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. He tried to appeal but lost.
- Possible violations of U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and/or other foreign corruption connections
- Likes to brag, has difficulty keeping a secret, AND **HAS REVEALED CLASSIFIED INFORMATION BEFORE**Technically this question is asking about before he was president, so that wouldn’t have happened yet, but the bragging and trouble keeping a secret would come out in a background check. Ego is one of the four main methods foreign intelligence agencies use to get information from people.
- Up to 22 sexual assault allegations and/or other sexual misconduct, spanning four decades How many people with Top Secret clearance have their own Wikipedia page full of sexual misconduct allegations? In addition to the nearly two dozen women who have made allegations against him, there are recordings of Trump essentially admitting this behavior, corroborating some of the allegations himself:
- In a 2005 recording, Trump bragged in a radio interview about his practice of walking in on women and girls undressing at beauty pageants he owned, under the guise of “inspecting” it. “No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant.” By “allowed,” he apparently meant no one stopped him. Reveling in what he could “get away with,” his bragging left no ambiguity about his purpose: “You know, they’re standing there with no clothes… And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.” His admission corroborates allegations made by some of the women he did this to, including five then-teenaged girls who competed in the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant, some as young as 15. 
- In a separate 2005 incident, Trump was recorded saying he feels his celebrity allows him to assault women, specifically to kiss them (“I just start kissing them…I don’t even wait…“) or “grab” their genitalia, without their consent. While Trump tried to downplay the remarks, he did admit to saying them and offered a rare apology. In sworn testimony before Congress, Trump’s own appointee for Attorney General confirmed that the actions Trump described would “clearly” constitute sexual assault.
- Compulsive lying
- One of the most common reasons for rejection is dishonesty in the application process, or a failure to accurately disclose relevant information on the 100+ page security clearance application form called the SF-86. Odds are Trump would fudge the truth somewhere.
Believe it or not, this isn’t even everything, I just got bored with the project.
Any one of these many issues would potentially be enough to sink his chances on their own, but all of them? Come on. Even if his application somehow weren’t rejected just based on the first 5% of this, the sheer volume of information is so overwhelming that the background check wouldn’t even be completed.
Also, this is just based on open source information. An actual background check involves full field investigation— reviews of every database, interviews with friends, family, business associates, neighbors, litigants, ex-wives, etc.
And remember, security clearances are not decided on the same standard as criminal law and incarceration. In other words, he doesn’t have to be convicted in a court of law, there’s no “innocent until proven guilty” or “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard; suspicion is more than enough reason to be denied a security clearance. Furthermore, not every valid reason to deny a clearance is a crime. In fact, most are not (affairs, debt, alcoholism, shady friends, foreign ties, etc.)
Below are the ten most common reasons people get denied clearance. I’ve put the ones he might have problems with in bold:
- Financial Considerations
- Personal Conduct
- Drug Involvement (though he did vouch for a convicted drug trafficker)
- Foreign Influence
- Criminal Conduct
- Alcohol Consumption
- Foreign Preference
- Handling Protected Information
- Use of IT Systems (perhaps I should bold this for his heavy social media use and refusal to use a secure phone?)
- Sexual Behavior
A writer is supposed to show, not tell, but I know some people have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to Donald Trump’s shortcomings, so I’ll spell it out for you… He’d be blown out of the water on almost every category.
I mean, we don’t even have to get into the shady mob ties or financial issues or foreign entanglements or rampant sexual misconduct…does that long list of fines he paid for violations of criminal and civil law suggest he’s someone with the requisite moral character to be trusted with national secrets?
Do you think the people who grant security clearances would roll the dice with someone like this?
…would you want them to??