Europe, Power & Security, Russia , United States

The Ukraine scandal puts national security officials in an uncomfortable spotlight

November 7, 2019
By John Gans, Director of Communications and Research | CNN

Although it remains to be seen what will come of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's alleged pressure campaign against Ukraine, Americans will have at least received in its earliest stage a lesson in how government really works. The difference between an ambassador and a chargé d'affaires has been explained. Most avid news consumers have now heard of a sensitive compartmented information facility, or SCIF. And everyone has learned how presidential phone calls work and sometimes don't.

hat education continued last week as members of the powerful National Security Council staff began testifying. For over 70 years, NSC staffers have helped presidents with the big stuff, like wars, and the small, including meetings with other heads of state. Because of their unique position and purpose, it's no surprise congressional investigators want to talk to members of the NSC. But as new staffers come into the spotlight, Americans might be surprised that members of the President's NSC appear to be have taken different sides, and to have played different roles, in the confusing development of America's Ukraine policy under Trump.

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